Technology Foresight 2030
Introduction Historically, agricultural productivity growth has enabled significant increases in food production, far exceeding growth in population and leading to a long-term downward trend in real food prices.
Historically, agricultural productivity growth has enabled significant increases in food production, far exceeding growth in population and leading to a long-term downward trend in real food prices. Future growth, however, must not only involve improved productivity, but also superior resource efficiency and enhanced environmental performance. These challenges will require the deployment of new technologies, processes and knowledge underpinned by good science and consumer acceptance.
The world is experiencing a spate of disruptive innovation from rapidly accelerating scientific discoveries and new technologies. These are causing fundamental shifts in our economic landscape and introducing new risks and opportunities for the economy, the environment and society. Advances in big data, 3D printing, artificial intelligence, robotics, nanotechnology and biotechnology are already altering existing economic systems and business models. It is conceivable that such technologies could ultimately impact almost every sector of the economy, including in agri-food.
The primary aim of the Foresight Project is to identify the key technologies that have the potential over the next 20 years or so to underpin competitiveness, sustainability and growth in the Irish agri-food and bioeconomy sector. A secondary aim is to provide a comprehensive and well-researched source of evidence for policy decisions relating to Teagasc’s future science and technology programmes.
The Project’s Added Value
The Project will directly involve around 200 leading national and international experts drawn from a broad range of scientific disciplines and academic institutions. In addition, during the course of the Project, we will involve a large group of industry and policy stakeholders from within the Irish agri-food sector. Drawing upon the latest scientific and other evidence from many organisations and researchers, it aims to add value by:
- Adopting a long-term, strategic outlook towards likely challenges over the period to 2030.
- Using futures techniques to embrace the many uncertainties inherent in the future, and to identify choices that are resilient to a range of outcomes.
- Subscribing to a very broad view of the agri-food system and bioeconomy and the wider context in which it operates.
- Involving scientists from areas of science and technology which traditionally would not have little, if any, contact with the agri-food sector, thereby opening up the possibility for speeding up the innovation process in the sector