Innovation Watch on Flipboard

By David Forrest | THE FUTURE IS HERE innovationwatch.com ...strategic foresight... ...breakthrough innovations... ...global trends...

Fossil industry faces a perfect political and technological storm

The IMF says we can no longer afford the economic wastage of fossil fuels, turning the green energy debate upside down as world leaders plan a binding climate deal in Paris

The political noose is tightening on the global fossil fuel industry. It is a fair bet that world leaders will agree this year …

Energy

Talented bacteria detect cancer, diabetes

You might want to park at the door any assumptions about bacteria being primitive, inert or yucky. This is a story about genetically engineered forms of bacteria that may someday diagnose cancer by analyzing a urine sample, and that have already shown a knack for recognizing the hallmarks of …

Cancer

Forget the notebook, you'll be wearing virtual reality goggles at uni soon

Twelve new "technologies to watch" will change the face of higher education in the next five years, according to new research.

The report, from Open …

Augmented Reality

This woman wants to make the Internet of Things cheaper, simpler and more efficient

Anne Lauvergeon is chairman of the board of Sigfox, a French startup that wants to be the Ma Bell of the Internet of Things.

Anne Lauvergeon says her first husband used to say, “‘The problem with Anne: she has no ambition.” And while Lauvergeon claims to agree with him, the ambitions of her company …

Internet

3 disruptive innovations that are changing the Middle East

If you’ve been lucky enough to travel across the Middle East, North Africa and Turkey (MENAT) region over the past few years, you likely will have …

Innovation

The U.S., Mexico and Canada will collaborate on climate adaptation

Upgrading power grids, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and adapting to climate change are on the agenda for a new international working group composed of the three national energy ministers in the U.S., Canada and Mexico.

U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz, Canadian Minister of Natural Resources …

Climate Change

The return of virtual reality: 'this is as big an opportunity as the internet'

Dr Jonathan Waldern is standing in a meeting room in Silicon Valley, wearing a lab coat and grinning from ear to ear. “There will be people crying in this, people falling in love, people falling over. For all sorts of reasons, this strikes at the core of being a human being. It’s so compelling … …

Virtual Reality

China's 'New Silk Road' Vision Revealed

On Thursday, China’s state-owned Xinhua News Agency unveiled an ongoing feature entitled “New Silk Road, New Dreams.” The series promises to “dig up …

China

Norway's $900bn sovereign wealth fund told to reduce coal assets

Norway’s $900bn sovereign wealth fund, the world’s largest, should cut its exposure to the global coal industry and sell stakes in firms that focus on the sector, a key parliamentary committee said on Wednesday.

The finance committee agreed in a bipartisan motion that the fund, which owns about 1.3% …

Coal

The Church Of George Church

From reviving extinct species to hunting for dark matter, can a single scientist transform biology--and our lives?

A few years ago, George Church was peer-reviewing a paper for the journal Science when he got an idea. The paper’s authors had encoded their names and a string of famous quotes into a …

Genomics

BuzzFeed Founder Launches New Lab for Open-Source Invention

Buzzfeed is launching an open-source research lab for building tools to bring the world better information.The post BuzzFeed Founder Launches New Lab …

Buzzfeed

Chinese military expansion sparks fears of war with U.S.

TOKYO — China’s armed forces are to extend their operations and the air force will become an offensive as well as defensive force for the first time, …

Military

Artificial Intelligence Will Be Felt First In Robots That Can See And Learn

Quietly, in the background, robots are getting smarter. So much smarter that they may soon be able to accomplish a lot of our work for us. They can drive us and our stuff around, manufacture a lot of that stuff, prepare our meals and care for our elderly and infirm. This is not to say they will …

Robots

What Work Will Look Like In 2025

The experts weigh in on the future of work a decade from now.

Anyone who grew up with the notion that we’d all have jet packs and robot housekeepers by 2015 knows that predicting the future is a risky business. But as technology continues to develop and various trends, demographic shifts, and other …

The Future

'A 2°C World Might Be Insurable, A 4°C World Certainly Would Not Be'

Henri de Castries, the CEO and Chairman of AXA, one of the world’s largest insurers, has set the bar high for institutional investors when it comes to acting on climate risk and opting for divestment. The French group has more than $1 trillion in assets under management.

“It is our responsibility, …

Sustainability

Ford CEO wants to make a self-driving car for the masses

In a wide-ranging interview with Fortune, CEO Mark Fields talked about his strategy and plans to deal with challenges from Google, Uber and…China.

Ford CEO Mark Fields is trying to navigate his company through an era of upheaval in the auto industry. Cars are no longer merely steel on wheels. …

Luxury Lifestyle

Mobile Internet To Be Worth More Than Apple By 2018

Smartphone sales growth is slowing to less than 10 percent annually to 2018, and mobile networks saw just 5 percent growth in the last decade. So while Apple continues to knock it out of the park and Xiaomi skyrockets, mobile Internet is the mobile growth market.

Digi-Capital now forecasts almost 3x …

Mobile Advertising

Shocker: 40% of Workers Now Have 'Contingent' Jobs, Says U.S. Government

Tucked away in the pages of a new report by the U.S. General Accounting Office is a startling statistic: 40.4% of the U.S. workforce is now made up of contingent workers—that is, people who don’t have what we traditionally consider secure jobs.

There is currently a lot of debate about how contingent …

Employment

The Most Important Cities In The Developing World

Asia

The Infrastructure Needs of the Digital Economy

Complex Challenges

There are multiple challenges to be addressed. The issues are particularly thorny in emerging markets, thanks to economics that are …

Economics

The $325,000 Lab-Grown Hamburger Now Costs Less Than $12

A real burger made without the cruelty and pollution is now within reach.

The artificial burger that you—or your science-fiction-loving friends—have been waiting for is real. And now it's cheap, too.

It wasn't long ago that test-tube hamburgers—meat made from small pieces of lab-grown animal muscle …

Stem Cells

Meet the woman who oversees one of the world's largest climate funds

The Climate Investment Funds hopes to stimulate clean energy projects in the developing world.

For a woman that manages an $8.3 billion fund that supports 140 clean energy projects around the world, Mafalda Duarte is rather under-the-radar.

Duarte is the manager of The Climate Investment Funds (CIF), …

Energy

‘Brain Balls’ Grown From Skin Cells Spark With Electricity

Globe-like agglomerations of human neural cells look and act strikingly like real, living grey matter.The post ‘Brain Balls’ Grown From Skin Cells …

The Brain

Driverless truck corridor from Mexico to Manitoba proposed

Trucks hauling cargo from Canada through the United States to Mexico and back navigate border crossings without the need for passports, visas or even …

Mexico

Can Elon Musk and Tesla save the mining industry?

New generation of batteries will make cobalt, lithium and nickel essential investments in commodities

When it comes to investing in the future of commodities forget about resources such as iron ore and coal, which dominated the industrial economies of the old world order. The new currency for smart …

Batteries

Brighton: the seaside resort that wants to be the smartest digital city in England

The blurb for Brighton’s new digital catapult centre reads like a political manifesto, with promises of encouraging innovation and unlocking value. To find out what it’s really about requires the tenacity of Jeremy Paxman crossed with a petulant toddler.

However, as Nick Hibberd, head of city …

England

Commercial farming...in your subdivision?

At a time when Americans want local produce, one farmer is raising fruits and vegetables in spare lots in the suburbs of Orange County, Calif. Could he be a model for others?

This is what passes for farmland these days in Orange County, Calif., population 3 million: a 22-acre rectangle in Irvine …

Agriculture

The bureaucrat who has tech terrified

After less than a year on the job, Europe’s competition cop, Margrethe Vestager, has picked a fight with the biggest names in global business. She’s not done yet.

It’s early evening and Margrethe Vestager is sitting in her Brussels office sipping coffee, talking about her now famous antitrust …

Brussels

Special Report: The war on big food

Major packaged-food companies lost $4 billion in market share alone last year, as shoppers swerved to fresh and organic alternatives. Can the supermarket giants win you back?

Try this simple test. Say the following out loud: Artificial colors and flavors. Pesticides. Preservatives. High-fructose …

Food