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Accelerating technological change and hyperconnectivity

Technologies are changing the nature and speed of new scientific discoveries and are transforming systems of production, management, and governance.

(© Soft Bank Robotics)

Advancements in genetics, nanotechnology, robotics and artificial intelligence, photonics, quantum and other emerging technologies and the synergies among them are accelerating.

They are changing the nature and speed of new scientific discoveries and are challenging our understanding of what is possible.

Hyperconnectivity, the IoT, augmented reality and collective intelligence systems, combined with falling costs of implementation of new technologies are transforming entire systems of production, management, and governance.

Developments and Forecasts

Atomically precise manufacturing, genetic manipulation, robotics, space technology, photons manipulation, brain imagery and cognitive science advancements, computer controlled-telepathy, synthetic biology, augmented reality, and teleportation at photonic level are only a few of the already existing technologies.

Digitalisation and hyperconnectivity

Hyperconnectivity is expanding fast, while physical-digital integrations, IoT, smart home tech, big data, augmented and virtual reality, and machine learning are changing our entire systems of living and thinking.

Hyperconnectivity & IoT

Physical-digital integrations, augmented intelligence

Distributed ledger technologies (DLTs) and blockchains

Computer processing and energy-saving

Expanding frontiers of science

Increasing synergies among synthetic biology, nanotechnology, 3D&4D printing, robotics, and the advent of AI, quantum computing, collective intelligence and yet to emerge technologies are accelerating the rate of acceleration itself.

Key Enabling Technologies (KETs)

New frontiers sciences

Space research

Health science

S&T development ethics

Ethical and security implications of some S&T developments need to be assessed for their safe developments for the benefit of society. Open science, citizen science projects, sharing of results and collaborative cross-disciplinary research determin the democratisation of science.

R&D geopower

S&T democracy

Double-edge considerations

More Developments and Forecasts

Potential Implications

Ethical and security implications of S&T developments need to be continuously assessed for their safe development to the benefit of society as a whole.

​Ethical digitalisation

Algorithms play an increasingly important role in governing our life. Hence, the codes of ethics that rule algorithms-writing, access and use of data and the way we address AI will have a determining impact on our future.

Avoid increasing digital divide

AI & IoT standards

Blockchain expansion

Strategic aspects

A global collective intelligence system to track S&T advances, forecast consequences, and document a range of views could help understand the potential consequences of new and possible future S&T developments.

Technology-readiness Index

Communication and management

Security matters

Space research

More Potential Implications


Indicators to measure change and potential forecasts.

R&D Intensity in OECD countries and other economies
Source: OECD Main Science and Technology Indicators, 2019


R&D intensity in OECD countries and selected economies, 2017
(© OECD)

More Indicators

Relevant EC work

Policy papers and projects relevant to accelerating technological change and hyperconnectivity

Models relevant to accelerating technological change and hyperconnectivity used by the EC

TIM Edge monitors datasets to track and document trajectories of emerging technologies, and displays indicators related to the development of technologies by thematic.


(© JRC, European Commission)

The EMM News Brief, Europe Media Monitoring, is a fully automatic system that analyses both traditional and social media. It gathers and aggregates about 300,000 news articles per day from news portals world-wide in up to 70 languages. 
Use EMM News Brief to explore worldwide news related to accelerating technological change and hyperconnectivity


(© EU, 2018)

More EC work

Other resources

Selected resources relevant to accelerating technological change and hyperconnectivity

More resources on this megatrend

Disclaimer: the content presented in this Megatrends Hub does not represent the views of the JRC or those of the EC, nor an endorsement by them.

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