Expert Forecasts for 2020

A country will be unlikely to invest in developing and implementing applications that will not help it achieve its most important goals. • Promote economic growth and international commerce. The benefits would be the same as for the scientifically developing countries. Quantum cryptography could protect critical data and networks from hackers and attackers. In addition, targeted drug delivery, also obtainable by the proficient nations, could expedite responses to chemical and biological attacks and minimize casualties. Figure 4 illustrates the overall capacity of the 29 nations in our sample to implement all the technology applications they will be able to acquire.4 Of the seven scientifically advanced countries able to obtain all 16 applications, the United States and Canada in North America and Germany in Western Europe will also be fully capable of implementing them through 2020. Japan and South Korea in Asia, Australia in Oceania, and Israel in the Middle East will be highly capable of implementing all 16 as well. All these countries will have excellent S&T capacity, along with the highest number of drivers and lowest number of barriers. What is more, the ability to acquire a technology application does not equal the ability to implement it. Doing research or importing know-how is a necessary initial step. But success-ful implementation also depends on the drivers within a country that encourage technological innovation and the barriers that stand in its way. Such drivers and barriers reflect a country’s institutional, human, and physical capacity;1 its financial resources; and its social, political, and cultural environment. Each of these factors plays a part in determining a nation’s ability to put a new technology application into the hands of users, cause them to embrace it, and support its widespread use over time.