Expert Forecasts for 2020

• The significant gap that must be filled before the scientifically lagging nations can even reach the level of proficiency. Unless the barriers are addressed, the lack of financial resources; institutional, physical, and human capacity; open markets; and transparent and stable governments will make it very difficult for the countries that could most benefit from these applications to put them to use. 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. The benefits to public health from cheap solar energy, rural wireless communications, GM crops, rapid bioassays, filters and catalysts, cheap autonomous housing, and green manufacturing would also better the health of individuals. In addition, targeted drug delivery, by limiting damage to healthy cells and tissues when administering therapies, would enable less-invasive, debilitating treatments and better outcomes. Improved diagnostic and surgical methods would make diagnoses more precise and surgical procedures more effective, and reduced recovery times would give a wider group of patients the option of surgery. 4 We analyzed country capacity to implement technology applications by taking into account three factors: (1) capacity to acquire, defined as the fraction of the top 16 technology applications listed for that country in Figure 1; (2) the fraction of the ten drivers for implementation applicable to that country; and (3) the fraction of the ten barriers to implementation applicable to that country. Figure 4 shows the position of each of the 29 representative countries on a plot for which the y-axis is the product of factors (1) and (2)—i.e., capacity to acquire scaled by the fraction of drivers—and the x-axis is factor (3). (Multiplying capacity to acquire by the fraction of drivers is consistent with the view that the absence of drivers reduces the probability that the technology applications a country can acquire will be implemented.) Both axes are shown as percentages: The y-axis starts at 0 percent (i.e., no capacity to acquire technology applications or drivers) and ends at 100 percent (i.e., capacity to acquire all 16 technology applications, with all 10 drivers applicable). The x-axis starts at 100 percent (i.e., all 10 barriers are applicable) and ends at 0 percent (i.e., no barriers are applicable). This figure provides a first-order assessment of the capacity to implement technology applications, in that we applied equal weighting to all technology applications, drivers, and barriers. We recognize that specific technology applications, drivers, and barriers might be more or less significant in particular countries.