Swiss Academy of Engineering Sciences (SATW)
Authors: Claudia Schärer et al.
Main themes: early identification, technology
Nature of publication: study
SATW’s key mission of early identification comprises the detection, description and assessment of technologies that will be significant for Switzerland’s economy and society in coming years1. Every two years, these activities are wrapped up in the publication “Technology Outlook”, which in 2021 has reached its fourth edition. The Technology Outlook 2021 builds on the 2019 edition. The technologies described back then have been newly assessed with regard to their technological maturity. Those having a time horizon of less than three years till market maturity have been excluded. In collaboration with SATW’s two early identification bodies, we have identified new relevant technologies that will gain significance in Switzerland and that correspond to the targeted time horizon of at least three years until product maturity. The Technology Outlook 2021 presents a total of 45 technologies and areas of application. For this edition, SATW has again collected quantitative data on the different technologies and used the four-quadrant diagram “Economic significance of technologies for Switzerland / Available research competence in Switzerland”. This allows for the first time to identify certain trends.
Swiss Academy of Engineering Sciences (SATW) 2021The future aim of highly and fully automated vehicles with corresponding drive systems is to free drivers from often tedious tasks, eliminate them as a source of danger, and make more efficient use of infrastructure. They require an almost unimaginably high level of digitalisation, artificial intelligence usage and innovative networking to enable extremely complex systems to emerge. Autonomous vehicles are currently at an early stage of development, planning or even testing. Details of initial authorisations and commercial availability are still far off: sceptics dismiss this as just hype, proponents talk about it soon becoming a reality. This is supported by billions in investment from large countries such as the USA, China, and Germany, as well as gigantic technology and service conglomerates such as Alphabet-Waymo, Uber and leading automobile manufacturers. A realistic timeframe seems to be 20 years until highly automated vehicles penetrate the market, with at least 40 years for fully automated versions. Autonomous shuttles, taxi fleets, computer-guided lorry convoys and traffic on the outskirts of major cities will most likely lead the charge. The small brochure provides a detailed overview of the current challenges on a technical, legal, environmental, and social level, and shows some potential benefits.
The title: Bending, but not breaking
Authors: Anna Mauranen, Eva-Mari Aro, Riitta Hari, Sirpa Jalkanen, Markku Kulmala, Arto Mustajoki, Risto Nieminen, Ilkka Niiniluoto, Kari Raivio, Jorma Sipilä, Kirsi Tirri, Pekka Aula, Jaakko Kuosmanen and Rosa Rantanen
Main themes: The statement presents views on Finland's crisis resilience based on the lessons learned from the coronavirus pandemic crisis, with the goal of a strong and resilient Finland. The statement looks further into the future, rather than focusing on the short-term recovery from the current crisis. The statement invites us to discuss ways of improving crisis resilience at the individual, community and societal levels.
Nature of publication: Statement
A report of the Royal Academy of Belgium
Authors: Max Krahé.
Main themes: public investment in private enterprises, advancing socially and environmentally sustainable development.
A report of the Royal Academy of Belgium / Un rapport de l'Académie royale de Belgique
Authors: Document stemming from the work undertaken by the “Dissemination of Science” Group of the Royal Academy of Belgium, headed by Erol Gelenbe and comprising Guy Brasseur, Luc Chefneux, Véronique Dehant, Véronique Halloin, Jean-Paul Haton, Michel Judkiewicz, Bernard Rentier and Romain Weikmans.
Main themes: dissemination of knowledge in the context of reducing the climate footprint.
Irish Academy of Engineering (IAE) 2021National Energy and Climate Plan, Download file The Irish Government has adopted a challenging target of having 70% of the country’s electricity produced from renewable sources (mainly wind and solar) by 2030. In its newly published report, ‘The Challenge of High Levels of Renewable Electricity in Ireland’s Electricity System’ The Irish Academy of Engineering (IAE), seeks to identify the risks in the transition to renewable electricity and recommend prudent actions by policy makers. There is broad agreement that long term decarbonisation of the planet’s energy systems requires a major shift to electricity as an energy vector. Ireland is planning to have nine hundred thousand electric vehicles on the road by 2030 as well as six hundred thousand heat pumps. Don Moore says “In this context, a failure of the power system would have a catastrophic effect on normal economic life. In order to maintain necessary reliability standards while replacing coal, oil and peat generation, Ireland will require significant gas fired generation for the next two decades.” Gas consumption will reduce as generating units will operate with lower load factors, but peak gas demand for power generation will be significantly more than today. Don Moore states that “Power system reliability is therefore critically dependent on secure primary energy supplies (natural gas) to the Island of Ireland”. By 2030, the island of Ireland will be almost totally dependent on Great Britain (GB) for its gas supply. GB in turn will import up to 75% of its gas due to declining North Sea production. In the Academy’s view, developing a liquefied natural gas (LNG) import terminal in Ireland is highly advisable to ensure secure, diverse and cost-effective gas supplies. There are several major LNG exporting counties, such as Qatar, Algeria, Nigeria, and Russia which have enormous gas reserves, and Don Moore says “ Ireland is one of the very few maritime countries in Europe which does not have an LNG import facility”. The global LNG market is now extremely competitive with over 20 exporting countries and more than 40 importing countries. Alternatives to gas fired generation to support 70% renewable electricity have been proposed, these include: • Pumped Hydro Storage • Compressed Air Storage • Battery Storage • Carbon Capture and Storage • Increased Interconnection • Hydrogen Fuel Options • Biofuels • Marine Energy (Wave/Tidal) • Nuclear Power The Academy’s considered conclusion is that none of these options can be implemented on a scale that would significantly reduce Ireland’s gas fired generation by 2030.
National Academy of Technologies of France (NATF) March 2021The authors: Alain Michel Boudet, Pierre Feillet The appropriation of digital technologies, artificial intelligence and data-driven learning for more effectively designing, manufacturing, controlling and distributing food that meets consumer demands and respects environmental constraints – for the food industries this is a necessity and a great ambition that the public authorities must actively support.