A. What are the most important competence areas or science fields at the moment ? In the future ?
Since innovation happens at the boundaries, and they are all important, it is important to look for sciences that are “well spaced” and fundamental, as well as integrative.
Service science is integrative so is important.
Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Computer Science & Brain Science, Service Science – are “well spaced” …..
Within Physics and Chemistry – besides the obvious nanotechnology – material science in general is very important, especially bio-friendly processes for purifying materials, as in recycling.
B. What industries are growing fast at the moment in Silicon Valley? Where do the venture capitalists of Silicon Valley invest the most at the moment? What industries are struggling to find investors at the moment?
Platform technologies are hot – social media, learning (MOOCs).
Robotics is strong.
Disruptions of smart phones are also strong – Google Glass and Contact Lens, Apple Watch and Wrist Bracelets, Microsoft & Corning Smart Glass-Coated Surfaces, perhaps Facebook, Twitter , Lenovo and other pro-sumer companies or startups will come up with something truly disruptive and surprising.
C. What kind of challenges companies are facing at the moment? What is preventing them from growing or developing further and faster? (Law, taxations, shortage of resources, know how, money, cyber safety…)
Cybersecurity and the balance of privacy protection and security are big on-going challenges, because technology solutions are only a part of the answer.
Businesses have mastered many disciplines, run-transform-innovate and successful acquisitions, but they are still struggling to master true collaborative innovation, open innovation, and dynamic capabilities, and essential aspects of service-dominant logic and service science.
Regional economic development is very inefficient today and businesses trying to break into that are finding it slow going.
Two key disciplines (1) balancing improve weakest link with improve strongest link policies, and (2) rapid rebuilding from scratch policies – have not been mastered, and require regulatory change.
Education is being disrupted, but the transformation of academia, industry, government is a co-evolution towards more team and project-based work, and the measures are too oriented towards individual performance and not team performance. Need a balance – T-shapes.
D. What kind of new clusters are about to born (like connected homes and cars, e-learning solutions etc)
The major clusters that are about to form are going to form on each continent – and are (1) manufacturing as a local recycling service, (2) AirB&B for more smart regional economic development. Each industry sector will be disrupted by this: (a) transportation – driveless trucks and then car regions, (b) water – local recycling of water, (c) manufacturing – as a local recycling service with new business models, new materials, robotics, 3D printers, etc., (d) hydrogen economy – based on artificial leaf for homes, roads, cars, (e) ICT disrupted by cognitive systems – boosting individual productivity 10x, (f) building construction and recycling at scale for recycling whole sections of cities, with spill over to space systems (g) finance shifts more to crowdfunding and virtual currencies, (h) healthcare goes robotic surgery, 3D printing of organs, and homes with sensors for self-service health, and robotics for elderly, (i) education becomes team based sport, and the lines between education and entrepreneurship and community service blur, (j) governments and regional economic development merge and become rational by adopting a balanced improve weakest-link and strongest-link set of policies – nested, network service system governance becomes explicitly managed.
E. What will the main 3 trends be in the 2015 from the consumers perspective?
The word consumer will be replaced by pro-sumer, or something that is a better descriptor related to people as resource-integrators. Better full-life cycle management of people’s lives will be an increasing focus as big data analytics comes to career and health and recreation planning across a life space. Quantified self. Much smarter smart phones with more sensors. Cloud integration with virtual currencies based on activities.
F. What industries will bring the biggest returns to investors in the next 5-10 years’ time?
Energy, finance, ICT, home improvement, community improvement, regional economic development. Space systems.
My instincts are that the evolution of regional economic development is about to take off, and it will require future scenarios created by local populations as fuel… when people are preoccupied by the basic challenges of life in most regions of the world, it is hard from them (except perhaps children) to think much about the future. However, it is the hopes and dreams about the future, individually and collectively, as well as a focus on grand challenges that is the fuel for future scenario generation. Is there an app for that?