Working under the direction of the Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research (ISI), the international futurology team identified 100 possible innovation breakthroughs in areas such as artificial intelligence, robotics and biomedicine, and indicated how the European Union can prepare for them. The 100 radical innovation breakthroughs (RIBs) examined include not only technical developments such as biodegradable sensors or 4D printing, but also social concepts such as unconditional basic income or the car-free city.

The study resulted in the following findings:

1) A large proportion of RIBs are strongly related to artificial intelligence (AI).

2) More than 40 technologies that still lack market maturity will be used in a significant number of applications by 2038, e.g. neuromorphic chips or 4D printing.

3) In the wake of digitization, a new wave of change is emerging in the fields of biotechnology, health and sustainability.

4) Future value chains will be influenced by both technological and social innovation, e.g. the development of alternative currencies.

An innovative semi-automated process was used to identify and analyze the RIBs. A learning language analysis algorithm (NLP: natural language processing) analyzed the content of around 500,000 messages on scientific and technical platforms.