Expert Forecasts for 2020

But just because a country has the capacity to implement a certain technology application does not mean that it will want or need to. With distinct sets of problems and diverse profiles, different countries will continue to have different national priorities through 2020. Because technology applications are designed to perform specific functions, they pertain only to certain problems. Consequently, not all 16 applications will be equally relevant for all countries. • Strengthen the military and warfighters of the future. nication could be improved with rural wireless communications. Rapid bioassays would allow military medical personnel to identify weapon-grade pathogens in the environment. Filters and catalysts could be employed in situations involving chemical or biological contaminants. Cheap autonomous housing could provide personnel on the ground with improved living quarters. Russia, in contrast, has no more capacity than the most capable of the scientifically developing nations. The scientifically proficient countries will be moderately capable of implementing the applications that would improve individual health. Implementation capacity will still be substantial but somewhat less for strengthening the military and warfighters and increasing homeland security and public safety. As much as these countries may need to achieve this goal, promoting economic growth and international commerce will be the most challenging of all. The greater challenge they will face is the lack of institutional, human, and physical capacity,including effective and honest governance. Development results from improvements in economic growth, social equity, health and the environment, public safety and security, and good governance and stability. The countries with the best performance in these indicators of development will most likely have the greatest institutional, human, and physical capacity to implement technology applications. Less-developed countries that hope to benefit from technology applications will have to improve their performance in these development areas to build the requisite institutional, human, and physical capacity.