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Innovation

Experts highlight six key technologies to watch

The Council for Science and Technology has recommended certain technologies that should be in line for additional government funding
Written by Tim Ferguson, Contributor on

The UK should focus on six key technologies over the next five years, according to an independent government advisory group.

The Council for Science and Technology (CST) has named six technologies that should be in line for additional government funding.

The six technologies are: carbon capture and storage; disaster mitigation technology; low carbon electricity distribution; medical devices; e-health; and plastic electronics.

Carbon capture and storage is aimed at allowing the continued use of fossil fuels for power generation without creating additional C02 emissions.

Related to this is the development of low-carbon electricity distribution networks to provide locally generated electricity using renewable and low-carbon technology.

Disaster mitigation technologies is another climate-related area aimed at predicting, preventing and preparing for natural disasters such as flooding and earthquakes.

Technologies that would fall into this would include the existing Argo ocean monitoring system and the proposed European GMES climate monitoring satellite network.

And the CST suggests there needs to be focus on healthcare technology with new medical devices — Intel's and Motion Computing's Mobile Clinical Assistant, for example — which would target prevention, diagnosis and treatment.

In addition to this, there should also be a focus on e-health systems which provide healthcare and medical information services online.

The final tech is plastic electronics — an area that can be exploited for computers, communication systems, displays, sensing technologies and solar energy.

The final two areas are both seen as high risk by the CST — due to their relatively unproven track record — but with potentially high rewards.

The CST also named four "platform or enabling" technologies to support the above, including increased internet bandwidth for homes, businesses and mobile devices.

The other areas are cell and tissues therapies, pervasive systems (networks of intelligent and pre-programmed devices providing services and information) and simulation or modelling technologies.

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