"What technologies should you be following in the next year that have the greatest potential to transform the world over the next decade?"
Each year, we ask our analysts the above question, and come to conclusions using data including patents, academic papers, and funding. This is how we form our annual list of top transformational technologies. This year's report, "Foresight 2021: Top Emerging Technologies to Watch," highlights our findings and the 12 key technologies you need to watch in 2021.
In our report, each of our top 12 emerging technologies features an overview, a case study, and a view into driving megatrends. In addition to a technology's ranking, you'll want to take a look at our Lux Take and the Lux Tech Signal. Lux Takes are where our research team’s subject matter experts showcase their thoughts on a technology, like why it matters, and how organizations should approach. The Lux Tech Signal is our summary of data on patents,
papers, funding, and more, compared to the average for all technologies we track.
Additionally, each ranked technology features a case study and a view into megatrends driving innovation in that space. Our chosen case studies highlight how companies are using these technologies today to drive business results. The key megatrends driving each technology, as well as innovations within each technology driving it forward are also noted by our researchers.
As you dive into our annual report, you may notice that the ranking on our list is not simply a function of that Lux Tech Signal score highlighted on each slide. So how did we choose these technologies, and put them in this order?
When we rank technologies based on our data, we don’t simply look at the current score but also at the rate of improvement, the innovation history, and other factors. As we mentioned before, these rankings are not simply a function of just the innovation data. Based on the Lux Tech Signal alone, digital innovations would dominate the list due to the world’s intense recent focus on digital transformation. We combine the insight of domain experts on Lux’s analyst team with our data. Our analysts flag technologies with high innovation scores that may still face market roadblocks that make them dubious bets, or technologies that have less impressive scores but fit a key unmet market need that will enable them to make a major impact. To make our list we also calibrate the final choices to represent a breadth of innovation across energy, materials, health, and digital industries.
As the annual changes and shifts on our lists show, tech innovation is highly dynamic. It’s not enough to assess an area once: Ongoing monitoring is essential, and data science approaches can be particularly useful for areas where past disappointments might bias individuals against them. Download the executive summary of the report to see what technologies made our list.