Predicting the world in 2025

Using our data to predict tomorrow’s biggest scientific and technological breakthroughs
World in 2025

What will life be like in the future? Science fiction giants like Jules Verne and H.G. Wells have tried to answer this question with mixed success. Some of their predictions, like automatic doors, teleconferencing and even the Internet are conveniences we now take for granted. Others, like subterranean continents and time machines are still just fiction. Is there an accurate and reliable way to anticipate the future?

Today we released a new report, The World in 2025: 10 Predictions of Innovation, that uses global patent data from Derwent World Patents Index and Thomson Innovation and citation rankings and analytics from Web of Science and InCites to pinpoint the hot spots of innovation that will lead to tomorrow’s biggest breakthroughs.

Following are some of the study’s predictions of innovation in 2025:

Solar is Largest Source of Energy on the Planet : According to the most highly-cited scientific research papers of the last two years, improvements in photovoltaic technology, chemical bonding and the use of photocatalysts are making the process of harvesting and converting the sun’s energy much more than a novelty for the environmentally conscious; solar power will be used for the masses.
Teleportation testing is common : Thanks to the research that went into the Higgs Boson project, Scotty may soon be beaming things up. Scientific literature has exploded around the Higgs Boson, with over 400 citations of the 2012 study. And, recent patent applications related to Higgs Boson address “a body accelerating at the speed of light and growing into the square of the speed of light.”
Everything will be digital, everywhere : From the smallest of personal items to the largest continents, everything, everywhere will be digitally connected as a result of improved semiconductors, graphene-carbon nanotube capacitors, cell-free networks and 5G technology.
Type 1 diabetes is preventable : Advancements in ribonucleic acid-guided (RNA-guided) engineering will advance to a point where it will be possible to create a human genome engineering platform for identifying and treating disease-causing agents in humans. This field currently leads all areas of genetic-engineering patenting and has been identified as an emerging research front in the scientific literature.
DNA mapping at birth is the norm : Analysis of the human genome continues to be one of the hottest areas of scientific research, with one recent paper collecting over 1,000 citations. Advancements in nanotechnology coupled with more widespread Big Data technologies make in vivo measurements, for diagnoses to conduct precise, cell-level screenings, possible.

“While we do not purport to own a crystal ball, we do have the next best thing: citations to scientific literature and patent content. When analyzed in aggregate, these provide a fascinating window into innovations that will change our lives in the future,” said Basil Moftah, president, Thomson Reuters IP & Science. “By analyzing current R&D activity and commercial pipelines, we are shining a spotlight on some of the most exciting developments that will emerge over the next decade."