Breakthrough Technologies in 2016

May 4th, 2016 by Sarah Ricard

MIT Technology Review has picked the following innovations as breakthrough technologies of 2016. These technologies have the potential to make a large impact in the near future or have recently been put into use.

  • Immune Engineering has resulted in genetically engineered immune cells that have already made a difference in cancer treatment.
  • Precise Gene Editing in Plants is a way to modify crops to make them more drought and disease resistent.
  • Conversational Interfaces make communicating with machines easier and more efficient.
  • Reusable Rockets are already in use through Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin and Elon Musk’s SpaceX.
  • Robots That Teach Each Other will allow faster growth in robotic technology.
  • DNA App Store will allow customers to store their DNA samples in different types of apps.
  • SolarCity’s Gigafactory in Buffalo hopes to produce more efficient solar panels at a lower price to make solar energy more accessible for residents.
  • Slack is an intra-office messaging system that centralizes communication through instant messaging and chat rooms.
  • Tesla Autopilot sent its cars a software update that enabled existing sensors to control brakes and help prevent collisions.
  • Power from the Air will allow Internet devices and other wireless gadgets to repurpose nearby Wi-Fi, reducing the need for batteries and power cords.

Anyone with an interest in developing a new technology should  explore potential Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)/Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) funding opportunities through the SBIR.gov website.

Instructions for searching closed SBIR/STTR topics and prior awards (recommended before searching open topics) can be found here.