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Foresighting: a vision of the 2030s

Technology and Measurement Foresighting used the drivers of change to investigate six industries. By drawing parallels and analysing the challenges, common themes and technologies emerged. These trends represent the overarching changes that will impact society and citizens all over the world.  

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Seven key trends

Sustainability     Automation     Infrastructure     Personalisation     

Business     People     Complex problems  

Seven technology trends explained

Sustainability - it will become essential to manage limited global resources - land, energy, water and materials. Recycling, re-use and repurposing will become widespread.   

Automation - advances in machine learning, robotics, imaging and sensing will unlock the benefits of automation for society. Automated systems will do labour intensive tasks, increasing productivity, convenience, safety, quality and resource efficiency.    

Infrastructure - utilities, transport and logistics will become increasingly interdependent and interconnected. All our infrastructure will become more secure, efficient, resilient and safe. 

Personalisation - products and services will become personalised and bespoke - from medical interventions to consumer products. 

Business - new business models will emerge which increasingly wrap services around products and are focused on personalisation, sustainability and cost-reduction.  

People - informed citizens will take a more proactive role in tackling society’s challenges and change their behaviours regarding our environment and health. 

Complex problems - unravelling the complexity of interconnected and dependent systems - such as disease, weather, climate - will revolutionise our ability to assess risks and contributions, and befefit individuals and society. 

What might influence this view of the 2030s? 

In any vision of the future there are changes that cannot be anticipated or may turn out to be more influential than imagined - perhaps they were hard to quantify or appeared out of the blue. Here are some of the disruptive influences that were considered during Technology and Measurement Foresighting.

Rising consumption and resource limitation may lead to conflicting demands

AI, internet and technological advances may have negative effects on human wellbeing and skills

Inequality of access to technological advances may disadvantage part of the population

Social attitudes may reflect mistrust of the use of data

Interconnected and interdependent systems may have undesirable outcomes on other people 

People may not be willing to share their data if they do not trust it to be used ethically

Understanding and controlling complex systems may increase the risk of unintended consequences  

Irreversible changes may occur to our environment or climate 

Technological advances

Foresighting has highlighted key technological advances which will require or enable metrology:

Advanced nano- and biotechnology for medical application and human enhancement.

Hyperspectral imaging for sensing and automation.

Novel and meta-materials for sustainability and low-loss, low noise and low-power electronics.

Quantum communication and cryptography for seamless and secure sharing of data.

Quantum, photonic, neuromorphic and spin-based computers for low power, high performance computation.

Quantification and processing of multi-scale, multimodal data for automated, model-based, decision-making.

Quantitative biology for the application of precise engineering discipline in medicine and pharmaceutical sciences.

Wireless electricity, energy harvesting from the environment and micro-generation for self-powered devices.



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More information

Find out more about Technology and Measurement Foresighting.

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