Hello Tomorrow 2020 : Deeptechs and the infinitely small to the rescue of humanity
Biotechnology comes to the rescue of humans to fight chronic diseases and develop personalized medicine. Research on stem cells has made so much progress in recent years that it is becoming possible to transform stem cells into adult cells, but above all for adult cells to become stem cells again, for example from our own blood. These advances point to the creation of adapted, personalized and optimized health for each of us. Today the costs are astronomical to achieve this kind of scientific feats but advances in machine learning could make this type of solutions economically accessible in the future. The fusion of stem cells and gene therapy could enable humans to live much longer than just a hundred years.
The future of computing is in Qbit. Yes, quantum computing is still in its infancy, but it is already showing the beginnings of a quantum internet. A quantum network that could be a reality by 2030 according to some experts. Thanks to this network, all the power of quantum computers would then be made available to the user community. Computing power to better secure sensitive data or find new drugs more quickly. Mastery of quantum computing is also a race dominated today by China and the United States which, like artificial intelligence, are the countries filing the largest number of patents in this field. As for the quantum computer in the home, many startups are already starting to work on it. By 2035 will we all be in the Quantum Age?
Beyond quantum computing, Hello Tomorrow is also the rise of robotics. Exoskeletons like Wandercraft, presented in this edition, will help many patients to walk again, thus giving them autonomy. Robotics is also the creation of soft and flexible elements, perfectly imitating human muscles. Soft robotics inspired by the living world is booming to disrupt traditional, heavy robotics. This flexible robotics relies on flexible organic structures rather than solid materials with rigid movements. In the next decade, flexible robotics could even replace the muscles of the human body, an exoskeleton could become very light to wear, like a simple jacket, while allowing a person with reduced mobility to recover walking.
The conquest of space is coming back to life and a multitude of startups are being created around the “New Space”, whether it is to clean up space of orbital waste, to create zero G research laboratories or even to create eco-responsible rocket reactors. “New Space” is also the search for life in space, because every month more than 100 planets are discovered by scientists. The search for extraterrestrial life goes through the analysis of the atmosphere of these planets, like the latest publications on the discovery of life on Venus.
Many startups are also working on food production in space, whether through plants, algae or the production of synthetic animal cells. A real challenge to conquer Mars because a space shuttle can only carry 3 years of food ration. The knowledge gleaned by the spatial conquest at the food level could even impact the agricultural and food world on earth thanks to the deployment of new production methods.
Airspace must face up to ecological challenges and the objectives of an Airbus which in 2050 wishes to have a carbon neutral aircraft. The creation of such an aircraft is becoming a little more a reality every day, as with the Flying V project carried out with KLM. This plane could carry more than 300 passengers while consuming 20% less fuel than a comparable plane.
Urban space is becoming more and more intelligent with solutions for cleaning up the air in buildings or optimizing the water consumption of residents. Smart city technologies are increasingly used in the fight against climate change.
The major challenge is obviously the fight against climate change. To do this, a new generation of nuclear power plants could emerge with molten salt reactors. A technology that brings more stability and eliminates a large part of the risks associated with nuclear power. An essential solution to reduce thermal power plants to nothing and make nuclear the clean energy source in the long term.
The abandonment of fossil fuels can also be made possible thanks to the science of life. Bioethanol can be produced using microbes and yeasts. It is about turning cells into a production plant. Cells can now also produce bioethanol, drugs or food.
Nanoparticle-scale chemistry and biology can even create new materials and compounds. What if the cellular world came to clean up human errors concerning the environment.
This digital edition also saw more than 5,000 startups compete in the Global Challenge 2020. They were only 90 selected to pitch at the Global Summit. And it was Agora Energy Technologies that won the first prize. This startup, using electrochemical technology, manufactures batteries that capture CO2 from the atmosphere to transform it into energy.
Once again thanks to Hello Tomorrow, participants regain hope in science to overcome the challenges to come. DeepTechs offer hope for a better world by responding to the challenges facing humanity.
The future of humanity belongs more than ever to the infinitely small, from cell to atom!
Article written on december 10th, 2020,
by Nicolas Diacono,
Senior Tech Trends Analyst @Echangeur