The Top 20 Transformational Technologies to Watch in 2020

Lux Research

Every year we ask our analysts "What technologies are you following that will have the greatest potential to transform the world over the next decade?" Then, using innovation data and analytics, we select and rank the technologies to watch in the next year.

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A combination of megatrends, market demand, and new innovations has thrust many technologies into the spotlight. Our new 20 for 20 report combines the power of insights from our technology experts with proprietary data science tools to better guide innovation decision making. 

The Top 5 Technologies for 2020 are: 

  1. 5G Networks: From robotic surgery to self-driving cars, 5G will be critical to advances in the internet of things. 5G has officially left the realm of research and entered reality, with more than 2,200 patents being filed this year.
  2. Shared Mobility: With more than $10 billion in funding every year for the past three years, shared mobility – like car-sharing services – are reinventing urban transportation.
  3. Advanced Plastic Recycling: Mission-critical for companies from CPGs to chemicals, China has invested in recycling technology in a big way, with 55% of all patents coming from that country.
  4. Solid-State Batteries: Incumbent Li-ion batteries are hitting a performance plateau, and with more than 500 patents filed last year, solid-state battery production is quickly becoming less theoretical.
  5. Protein Production: Next-generation protein are needed to feed a population of almost 10 billion and received five times the investment of the previous year, landing at more than $200 million.

The report provides data-backed context for the ever-shifting technology landscape and insights into how companies can maximize the investment opportunities these data trends reveal.

Lux Research - 20 for 20 Infographic

One of the most exciting trends this list highlights is how rapidly the tech innovation landscape is evolving.The number of newcomers on the list, along with progress in returning technologies, shows how rapidly innovation is progressing, creating compelling new growth opportunities as well as disruptive threats to incumbents.

5G networks claimed the top spot in this year's report, 12 spots over last year. In fact, 11 of the 20 technologies on our list did not even appear on the previous year's list, and six of the nine returning technologies moved up in ranking.  

Nine technologies that made the cut in 2019 but were absent from this year's list are listed below. They can be broken down into three categories:

  1. Went Mainstream: Machine learning; Cybersecurity; Microbiome
  2. Changed Form: Wearable technology; Genome editing; Precision medicine
  3. Fell, in Relative Terms: AR/VR; Drones; Perovskite solar; Generative design

The Lux 20 for 20 report ranks 20 technologies that will reshape the world, based on innovation interest scores from the Lux Intelligence Engine, along with input from Lux’s leading analysts. To see the full list and learn more download the report's executive summary here.

 

 

 

Further reading

- Executive Summary: 20 for 20 Annual Report

- Infographic: Lux Research 20 for 20 Annual Report Infographic

- Executive Summary: 19 for 2019 Report (Last Year's List)

 
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