Green Color Trend 2020


Expert Forecasts for 2020

capable of implementing relevant sets of applications (sometimes even on par with Russia in the proficient group). But compared with most of the proficient and advanced countries, their level of capacity will still be very low. South Africa will have even less capacity, and Colombia and Indonesia will have little more than that of the scientifically lagging countries. Overall, nations in this group will be most able to implement the applications that would spur the development of rural economies and reduce the use of resources. They will be somewhat less able to implement applications that could serve to improve public health. South Africa, Colombia, and Indonesia in particular may be severely impaired by the plethora of barriers they face. In terms of promoting economic growth, all the countries in this group will face considerable implementation challenges, and their capacity will be extremely low. These countries may develop more capacity if current positive economic and development trends continue, but without quality infrastructure beyond metropolitan areas, the use of relevant applications may be significantly limited. Finally, nations that aspire to strengthen homeland security will also have very limited capacity to implement the applications that can help in this area. Nations with the highest level of S&T capacity sit atop the development ladder. Their leading concerns are usually quite different from those of countries with less capacity because they have already achieved the more basic development objectives prerequisite to focusing on those goals. When a national priority is the same, a scientifically advanced country often has very different motivations from those of a lagging or developing one. Promoting economic growth and international commerce is a case in point. The nations in this group are already world economic leaders; their problem is usually to maintain or capture even more of a competitive advantage in an aggressive global market. South Korea, for example, has to deal with a China rapidly gaining S&T capacity and emerging as a commanding economic force. It also needs to gain ground on Japan, the United States, and other economic superpowers. Other advanced countries are contending with skyrocketing health costs. With rapidly aging populations, they need to increase the productivity of their future workforce to finance cutting-edge medical treatment. • R&D investment: Funding to educate and train scientists, engineers, and technicians; build research laboratories, computer networks, and other facilities; conduct scientific research and develop new technologies; transfer technologies to commercial applications; and enter technology applications into the marketplace. Global diffusion of a technology application does not mean universal diffusion: Not every nation in the world will be able to implement, or even acquire, all technology applications by 2020. The level of direct S&T capacity may be markedly different from one country to another. Within different geographical regions, countries also have considerable differences that play into their ability. These differences may include variations in physical size, natural conditions (e.g., climate), and location (e.g., proximity to oceans and water). The size of the population and demographics (e.g., birthrate) may vary dramatically between countries in a single region. Countries may have very different types of government, economic systems, and levels of economic development.