The GWU Forecast of Emerging Technologies: A Continuous Assessment of the Technology Revolution
This article presents a method for the continuous assessment of major technological advances — the George Washington University (GWU) Forecast of Emerging Technologies. Environmental scanning is used to identify emerging technologies (ETs), and a Delphi-type survey asks a panel of respondents to estimate the year each advance will occur, its associated probability, the potential size of its market, and the nation that will lead each ET. Eighty-five prominent ETs have been identified and grouped into twelve fields: Energy, Environment, Farming and Food, Computer Hardware, Computer Software, Communications, Information Services, Manufacturing and Robotics, Materials, Space, and transportation. Results are presented from four survey rounds covering the past eight years and they then are compared longitudinally to estimate the range of variance. The data are also divided into three successive decades to provide scenarios portraying the unfolding waves of innovation that comprise the
coming Technology Revolution.