Businesses develop solution for large and small societal questions. Our society urgently needs a sustainability transition in which many aspects of human activities will undergo fundamental changes. Such transition consists of several separate transitions that show mutual interaction: e.g. an energy transition, a transition towards a circular economy (including a new manufacturing industry) and a transition in health and nutrition with a focus on the quality of life.
In an analogous way as former revolutions (industrial revolution, ICT revolution), this transition will be driven by new disruptive technologies.
Innovative technology waves that are likely to have a major contribution to this sustainability revolution are: nanotechnology, biological engineering, process intensification and miniaturization (flow chemistry), additive manufacturing.
It is impossible to predict all new applications and products the uses (who could have foreseen the current laptops or flatscreens in 1950?), but a few important opportunities are obvious. Those are in the field of Energy, electronics, health, materials and new manufacturing technologies.
It will be possible to refine revolutionary the formulation of medications. To the active ingredients in the right place, at the right time and in the correct dose to do their job. We will gain a sufficient understanding of the regulatory mechanisms of cells to stop proliferating cancer cells. Further an understanding of genomics will make it possible to deal with much more effective disease prevention (food and medicine).
Sustainable energy supply through the efficient use of solar energy should also be possible through the use of nanotechnology. Energy storage will a the major driver for an increase use of sustainable energy sources (wind, solar..).
Materials & process intensifcation
New functionalities of materials enable new products. Combined with the new manufacturing technologies, new business opportunities will occur. Opportunities that offers benefits: fast, precise, continuous, cheap, scalable and reducing the investment cost.