Diffusion of Emerging Technologies for Sustainable Development: Prospective Assessment for Public Policies

Maria Fatima Ludovico de Almeida, Carlos Augusto Caldas de Moraes


Emerging technologies based on biotechnology, nanotechnology, information and communication technologies (ICT), and green chemistry will shape the future of some industries and will transform many others. In many cases, these technologies will determine the development and restructuring of industries as never before. These changes, in turn, will promote debates and revisions of current regulatory frameworks and corporate business models. This paper - which is based on a prospective study carried out by the authors in 2010 - emphasizes the importance of understanding and anticipating movements of driving forces, trends and critical uncertainties at global level, which will influence the diffusion of emerging technologies into industrial processes and business models concerning seven societal sectors. The purpose of this paper is to describe the evolutionary trajectories of these sectors, based on diffusion of the so-called emergent technologies in a time horizon of 20 years.


emerging technologies; technology foresight; prospective studies; sustainable development; public policies.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.4067/S0718-27242013000300021

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