Chapter 55. What Are Emerging Technologies?

V. K. Narayanan[199] and Gina C. O'Connor[200]


"Emerging technologies" is a term used to cover the description of novel technologies, the processes by which they begin to infuse themselves into the commercial marketplace, and the nature of their impact over time. Today's key "emerging" technologies include nanotechnology, biotechnology, information technology, and a variety of energy technologies. These have the power to disrupt some industries and instigate the birth of new ones. According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, "emerging" means coming forth into view, and emerging technologies may thus be considered technologies coming into prominence. Although the exact definition of this term is rather vague, most will agree that emerging technologies have the potential to create a new industry or transform an existing one, to provide investment opportunities, and to change the world in terms of offering new benefits and transforming Standards of living.

According to Perez (2002), technological revolutions, spurred by the emergence of a novel technology or combination of multiple technologies, have occured approximately every 50 years over the past 250 years in the history of the civilized world. Indeed, a sequence of (a) technological revolution, (b) financial bubble, (c) collapse, (d) golden age, and (e) political unrest can be tracedtooccur repeatedly, caused by emerging technologies and the follow-on availability of financial ...

Get Encyclopedia of Technology and Innovation Management now with the O’Reilly learning platform.

O’Reilly members experience books, live events, courses curated by job role, and more from O’Reilly and nearly 200 top publishers.