Technology foresight

Technology foresight deals with the identification and assessment of future technology, its environment and its applications. It is part of a comprehensive foresight approach that addresses complex futures in a structured way and includes heterogeneous groups of actors. Fraunhofer ISI has helped to shape the development of this field and works continuously on its further development. 


Foresight Fraunhofer

Which topics will shape research and society in future? Fraunhofer ISI has identified important future topics of applied research on behalf of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft together with other institutes in the Fraunhofer Group for Innovation Research. Within the scope of a Foresight process, they took a systematic look into the future in order to derive strategic orientation knowledge from potential technologies and societal challenges and to advance the further development of foresight methods at the same time. The project drew on the expertise of all 72 Fraunhofer institutes and identified 51 topics with high relevance for applied research in 2030.

Life and biological sciences and technologies as engines for bio-based innovation

Despite significant technological advances, the bioeconomy is still in its infancy: products and processes are not economically viable and also not automatically more sustainable than fossil-based products. Which life and biosciences and technologies can make the biggest contribution here? This study identified the 50 most important bio-based innovations, compiled innovation scenarios for Europe in 2030, and worked on recommendations for action to strengthen the contribution of life sciences to the EU’s social goals and the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

RIBRI – Radical Innovation Breakthrough Inquirer

This project’s core concept was to identify 100 innovations for Europe and the world and to match them with future Global Value Networks (GVN), the fields where new value is created. It addressed topics such as artificial intelligence, robotics and biomedicine. The 100 Radical Innovation Breakthroughs (RIBs) analyzed include, for example, biodegradable sensors or 4D printing as well as societal concepts such as a basic income or car-free towns. 


The BOHEMIA project aims to identify priorities and topics for future European research and innovation (R&I) policy, and to describe those topics that should be addressed by R&I policy and funding. The considered time horizon extends to 2038. 

Future Business in the VDMA – images of the future in mechanical engineering 

This project aims to develop a trend radar and maps of trends as well as specific images of the future for the association of Germany’s Engineering Federation (VDMA). The study integrates the VDMA’s already existing activities of technology scouting, corporate foresight and portfolio management.