Tag: Supertrends

Supertrends in 2021 – breakthroughs, moving trends, and trends to keep an eye on

In 2021, a 50-year-old challenge – the protein folding problem – was solved by AI, starch was produced synthetically from air, the world’s first 3D-printed steel bridge opened in Amsterdam, and one in four people in the US used cannabis. 

These are some of the many predictions on the Supertrends timeline of the future that were fulfilled this year, while some others were not. In the following, we will look at the breakthroughs, the trends that moved faster than expected, the trends being pushed backward, and the trends you should keep an eye on as 2021 draws to a close. 

The breakthroughs in 2021

AI continues to show its immense power by solving the “protein folding problem”  

In 1972, US biochemist Christian Anfinsen predicted during his Nobel Prize acceptance speech that it would be possible to determine a protein’s 3D structure based on its one-dimensional amino acid sequence. This is the famous “protein folding problem” that has challenged scientists for the past 50 years. Until the beginning of this decade, humanity had collectively discovered the three-dimensional structure of 180,000 proteins. Now, an artificial intelligence tool called AlphaFold has predicted more than 350,000 additional protein structures, and it may be able to predict more than 100 million more within months. 

3D printing applied to construction and healthcare

trends
A 3D-printed metal bridge being installed in central Amsterdam (Image credit: Merlin Moritz)

The practical applications of 3D printing expanded to architecture and healthcare in 2021. This year, the world’s first 3D-printed steel bridge was opened to the public in Amsterdam, the first commercial 3D-printed house went on sale in the US, and the first 3D-printed school opened in Africa. In healthcare, a three-dimensional biomaterial scaffold was shown to reverse arthritis in mice, and 3D-printed vascularized human organ tissue survived for 30 days in a lab. 

Sustainability became a trend across industries 

With the US rejoining the Paris Climate Agreement and China launching its national carbon emission trading scheme, sustainability became an important trend across industries in 2021. One example is the fast development of sustainable agriculture. After the debut of cultured beef, pork, chicken, and fish, this year saw the arrival of cell-cultured caviar, as well as chocolate developed in the lab, along with the first underground urban farm. 

Supertrends experts from Future Fields developing cultured meat

Trends that accelerated

Sometimes the speed of innovation exceeds our expectations. For some trends, faster-than-expected development brought certain milestones forward into the year 2021. 

On 6 October 2021, the World Health Organization (WHO) approved the first malaria vaccine. Researchers have been working on a malaria vaccine for more than 30 years. The crowdsourced consensus on Supertrends was that a vaccine would not be approved before 2025. Based on positive (though less successful than hoped for) trial results, the protein-based malaria vaccine Mosquirix was approved for broad use in children by the WHO, marking an important step forward in the fight against one of the world’s most dangerous remaining infectious diseases. 

In November 2021, IBM announced the launch of a 127-qubit quantum computer. This set a new record in quantum computing, bringing the industry a step closer to developing devices capable of outrunning classical computers in performing specific tasks. “A quantum computer with over 100 qubits” was originally predicted on Supertrends timeline to happen in 2022. 

Also in November, the first zero-emissions container ship completed its maiden voyage in Norway. Although the ship only embarked on a short sail along the Oslo fjord, the journey nevertheless marked a new trend in sustainability that came to fruition sooner than predicted. 

Yara Birkeland, the world’s first zero emission container ship (Image credits: Knut Brevik Andersen, Wilhelmsen Ship Service)

Trends that lagged behind expectations

For reasons related to regulation, technology, and sometimes as part of the domino effect of the COVID pandemic, some trends that had been expected to manifest themselves in 2021 were delayed. 

Wall Street’s hopes for launching a bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) were quashed again by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Despite Bitcoin’s new highs, the SEC rejected an application by US investment firm VanEck for a BTC ETF. Some experts think that this milestone could be postponed for years. 

As sales of electric vehicles (EV) boomed, the development of autonomous vehicles (AV) remained stagnant in 2021. iQ-cruise, an intelligent, fuel-efficient cruise control system for trucks developed as a precursor to fully autonomous mobility, remained a pilot program this year despite predictions of its commercialization. Perhaps Apple’s push into the EV and AV field will accelerate the development? 

Another milestone was delayed as a direct consequence of the COVID pandemic. In 2020, Sunflower Labs launched the world’s first fully autonomous residential security system that combines sensors, drones, and AI. The company was all set up to deliver their autonomous security system to customers before the COVID outbreak abruptly changed the status of the home security market and led Sunflower Labs to focus on new business applications. 

The “Bee” – a security drone designed by Sunflower Labs (Image credit: Sunflower Labs)

Benchmarks that may or may not be reached in December

The world is changing faster than ever. Although Supertrends strives to bring you news about the most impactful and disruptive innovations, no single company can cover every new technology and new trend. Therefore, we invite you to join us in predicting new trends and spotting their development. 

Help us to keep an eye on the following milestones that could still be achieved in 2021!

Self-driving cars are allowed on UK roads. The UK government has said it would change the law by the end of 2021 to define cars with certified standards of Automated Lane Keeping Systems (ALKS) as “self-driving”. This hasn’t happened yet, but we are still watching. 

The James Webb Space Telescope is launched. The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) was jointly developed by the US, Europe, and Canada and planned as NASA’s flagship astrophysics mission. The JWST’s launch, initially planned for 2007, has suffered numerous delays. The latest delay pushed the launch date to 22 December 2021. Will the JWST make it into 2021’s list of Supertrends achieved? We certainly hope so!

James Webb Space Telescope artist conception (Image source: NASA)

If you want to always be in touch with the latest trends in innovation, get free access to the Supertrends timeline by signing up for Supertrends Pro app.

Company News: Supertrends secures CHF 1.5m in Series A financing round

Today we are pleased to inform our clients, followers and partners that we have closed our Series A financing round of 1.5 million Swiss francs at a pre-money valuation of 6.5 million Swiss francs.

The capital increase was closed with investments from a small group of international investors living in Switzerland, all of whom have significant experience with venture investments as well as in scaling growth companies.

The announcement comes amid a period of rapid expansion in our company, as we also recently opened a sales office in Copenhagen, revealed new strategic partnerships, delivered our first white label software to a hedge fund, and appointed experienced banker and entrepreneur Alfred W. Moeckli as chairman of the board. We plan to use this capital to accelerate sales, support the company’s expansion to new markets, and propel the continued development of our products and services. Following the release of our products Supertrends Pro, Supertrends White Label and Dynamic Reports, we are now particularly looking forward to the official launch of our AI tool Supertrends Lab, as well as our own war room concept, Supertrends Strategy & War Rooms – both of which are expected to release in the coming months.

Commenting on the capital increase, our Chairman of the Board Alfred W. Moeckli wrote: “Supertrends is revolutionizing how information about innovation, trends, and technological breakthroughs are collected, conveyed, and applied in practice. After a few years of product development followed by months of co-development with various interested organizations, we are now ready for our commercial breakthrough. The focus from here will be on sales as well as international expansion from Denmark and Switzerland to the UK and USA. The capital increase enables us to take this next, important step in Supertrends’ development.

Our founder and board member Lars Tvede, added: “In my opinion, we are filling a large gap in the market, which I myself have suffered under for decades as an investor and entrepreneur. While followers of the financial markets have access to excellent information services such as Bloomberg, where all information about the financial markets is consolidated in one place – and updated in real-time – it is almost impossible to follow the world’s exponentially accelerating innovation. Supertrends solves that problem.”

He continued: “Here at the beginning of our commercial breakthrough, I am really happy that the original shareholders and I have got a number of very experienced “wingmen” with significant entrepreneurial and financial experience into the circle of owners, who can help us internationalize the company and open doors. My experience from previous projects is that such co-investors can mean the difference between success and failure.”

To conclude, we’d like to share our appreciation for everyone who has been following and participating in our journey so far. We look forward to sharing everything we are planning over the coming months.

Read this announcement in the media:

Børsen | KapitalWatch


© 2021 Supertrends

Meat, Culture, and Cultured Meat: Supertrends Surveys Consumer Attitudes Toward Cell-Based Meat

The young industry of cultured meat has seen many technological, funding, and regulatory breakthroughs in 2020. Despite the rapid growth, some questions remain to be answered: Will consumers eat cultured meat? Will cultured meat face negative consumer attitudes, similar to genetically modified food?  

Cultured meat, or cultivated meat, is meat produced in a laboratory environment from animal cells. 2020 has been a record-breaking year for this young industry. Investment in this sector soared to US$350 million; fetal bovine serum (FBS)-free media has been developed and commercially produced; and Singapore became the first country to approve the sale of cultured meat. Despite the breakthroughs on the technology and regulatory fronts, as a novel food, cultured meat also requires cultural acceptance. There have been a few polls on consumer acceptance with diverse results. But there have not been many studies exploring the relationship between culture and meat, or cultured meat. What is considered edible meat in different cultures? Do people think cultured meat is real meat? What are the most important benefits people look for in cultured meat? Supertrends carried out a campaign in several countries to explore the cultural concepts of meat and cultured meat. 

A survey designed to explore the cultural concepts of meat and cultured meat

Supertrends targeted four countries for this research – China, India, Switzerland, and Colombia. China and India represented significant food cultures in the “East”. They are also some of the biggest and fastest-growing markets for both meat and fish, while Switzerland represented typical “Western” food culture, and Colombia represented another ethnic culture where livestock plays an important dietary role. 

Instead of a simple “yes or no” survey, the Supertrends team set up their research in three parts. In part one, participants were asked to freely list what they considered to be meat and words associated with cultured meat. Participants also were asked to write down the reasons why meat is eatable or uneatable. Keywords from participants’ descriptions were categorized and analyzed by the Supertrends team to determine if cultured meat fits into the concept of “meat” and whether it is considered edible. The conclusion was then tested in part two, where the participants had to answer survey questions regarding whether they were willing to try, purchase, and eat cultured meat. In part three, people around the world were asked to make predictions on 15 key  future milestones related to cultured meat. These were then compiled into a crowd-sourced future timeline of cultured meat. 

Cultured meat was associated with technology more than meat


Participants used words such as “stem cell”, “man-made”, or “biotech” to describe cultured meat.


The findings from this research are quite eye-opening. Across all participants, around 70 percent of the keywords in the free list of meat were related to animals. Some of the participants defined signs of life, such as respiration or blood circulation, as the defining criteria for meat. On the other hand, cultured meat was clearly associated with technology. Participants used words such as “stem cell”, “man-made”, or “biotech” to describe cultured meat. In general, the answer to the question of whether consumers view cultured meat as meat is that they are in doubt. This opinion was reflected in the mixed results of part two, where more than half of participants from Switzerland and Colombia stated they were willing to try cultured meat, while participants from China and India displayed less interest. 

Another interesting finding is that the majority of participants’ personal opinions towards cultured meat were positive or uncertain. However, this does not mean that they were willing to try cultured meat. For instance, most Indian participants considered cultured meat to be “good”, “eco-friendly”, and “healthy”, yet 55 percent of the Indian participants were reluctant to try cultured meat. At the same time, 80 percent of the Swiss participants, who mostly voiced uncertainty and opposition, were willing to try cultured meat. 

The wisdom of the crowd


The consensus time among survey respondents was in general two to three years later than the experts’ prediction


In the last part of the research, a crowd-sourced timeline was formed based on the “wisdom of the crowd”. Comparing the consensus time (average time of all predictions) with the time predicted by industry experts, Supertrends found that the consensus time among survey respondents was in general two to three years later than the experts’ prediction. This again signaled that the technology development in this novel food industry is ahead of consumer readiness. 

The supertrends crowd-sourced timeline for cultured meat

Things can change pretty quickly in an innovative field. People’s opinions can be influenced by many elements. By the time the Supertrends research on culture and meat was published, Singapore had already become the first country to make cultured meat commercially available. It is now up to the cultured meat industry to seize the opportunity and encourage consumers to make up their minds. 

If you are interested in the complete findings from the Supertrends research, you can read the full article for free here

© 2021 Supertrends

Supertrends and CVX Ventures Agree on Partnership

Supertrends and the Danish venture investor CVX Ventures have agreed on a partnership for sharing expertise and predictions regarding trends and innovation within the venture capital space. The partnership will serve to provide state-of-the-art knowledge about trends and innovation, and thereby improve the information basis for investment decisions. CVX Ventures will use Supertrends’ services internally and will facilitate the services to their network of partners.

CVX Ventures is a Danish venture investor that combines venture capital with deep industry knowledge and experience from leading business people in all investments. CVX Ventures evaluates more than 1,000 growth startups each year and invests in the most promising ones together with their +450 partners who are angels and/or board members. Additionally, CVX Ventures facilitates board positions in promising growth startups to their network with relevant experience. CVX Ventures is an important VC-actor in Denmark and the Nordic region and contributes to job creation and innovation.

Supertrends CEO Kim Weis said: “CVX Ventures is at the forefront of innovation as a venture investor and has a very interesting model with some of the most prominent private investors and board members in the Nordic region. Together, CVX Ventures and their partners are dedicated to foster growth startups and create the future of tomorrow in many different industries. We admire their dedication and hard work, and we look very much forward to provide them with high-quality information about trends and innovation.”

Anton G. Herborg, the CEO of CVX Ventures, added: “We are thrilled about this new partnership with Supertrends. When we and our partners make investment decisions, we need as much curated information as possible. Supertrends use AI, text-mining and crowdsourcing from experts to produce executive overviews of innovation in various industries. We believe that these methods ensure comprehensive, detailed, and unbiased information, which is exactly what we need in our decision-making processes in and before our Investment Committée. We look forward to using Supertrends’ services together with our partners”.

About CVX Ventures
CVX Ventures invests in growth startups together with their network of +450 partners.
Since 2018, they have supported more than 50 businesses with investments and competent board members. Every year, they evaluate more than 1,000 potential investments to find the most promising growth startups to partner up with.

Read more about CVX Ventures.


If you want to learn more about our partners and what we are trying to achieve with them, visit our dedicated partners page.

© 2021 Supertrends

Lars Tvede Delivers VL Summit Keynote

Lars Tvede was the keynote speaker at the Danish Business Leaders Summit on 6 May 2021, where he spoke about Supertrends, the future for businesses and other organizations – as seen by the people that create it.

VL is the leading Danish non-profit network for Industry Leaders; C-suite executives, board members, politicians and opinion leaders. VL is committed to fostering and encouraging knowledge and understanding of modern leadership. Accordingly, VL aims to contribute to the financial success, social progress and general improvement of the conditions of our society.

Here you can watch a summary of the keynote with English subtitles as well as the full-length version in Danish only.

Summary keynote – Danish audio, English subtitles
Full length keynote – Danish audio only

Want to learn more about Supertrends and our future-mapping products? Visit our Solutions page to find a product that works for you and your company. You can also visit the Supertrends Pro – page and try out our app – for free!

© 2021 Supertrends

A Paradigm Shift. The Role of Quantum Mechanics in Arbitration, Politics, and Defense

For centuries, science has been based on Newtonian laws and the principles of classical physics. In the last decades, this ontology started to be questioned, leading to the rise of quantum mechanics. From theoretical simulations and mathematical experiments, these quantum principles soon extended to computer science. They are working their way into different industries, from manufacturing and chemistry to law, politics, and defense.

Classical mechanics picture the world as a collection of particles that find themselves under the influence of various electromagnetic forces. Repetitive measurements of a particle return similar results, and macroscopic phenomena are explained based on the properties of the microscopic level. Because of its simplicity and apparent consistency, this paradigm has been reinforced and has prevailed through time [1]. However, technological advancements have allowed scientists to observe and verify various phenomena that behave differently, giving rise to a vast array of experiments and applications [2].


“We currently live in a world in which the old Newtonian principles (cause-effect relationships) are no longer valid. The science stopped advancing, and the only way the society can move forward and progress is by implementing metaphysical postulates [3].”


A dedicated supporter of this paradigm shift, Amir Vahid founded Eonum, a company based in California that employs quantum principles and harnesses the power of quantum computers to develop solutions for risk management, arbitration, and outcome prediction.

Working on the quantum devices made available by IBM, Amazon Braket, or Stanford, Vahid’s model relies on the analysis of human emotion and considers live data instead of other companies in the field that rely on static information mathematical models to make predictions. According to Vahid, this has the potential to save up to 60% of the client’s litigation cost and predict court outcomes with a 90% accuracy.


“Eonum has a distinctive ability to quantify complex human emotion using quantum field theory to enable high impact decision making.”


Any type of conflict, either between companies, political opponents, or world-powers, involves a high level of uncertainty, emotional volatility, power imbalances, and mysterious information. Eonum’s quantum model aims to make sense of this data, providing their clients with a more realistic assessment of their chances and supporting them in the processes of risk assessment, litigation, or arbitration.

Eonum’s approach does not limit itself to the usage of quantum computers and AI to make sense of data and perform complex computations. The company also employs quantum-based strategies (e.g., social laser [4]) to support their clients to reach their goals. 

“An average lawsuit in the healthcare industry costs around 3 million USD. This is a costly and time-consuming process. Our strategy is to help our clients move towards conflict resolution before reaching court trials by laying out strategies based on quantum principles and computations.”

One of the significant advantages of this model resides in its flexibility. On one hand, the model develops continuously, which allows the prediction to change in real-time, based on the events that take place at that moment. On the other hand, it is scalable and transferable to problems in other areas such as politics and diplomacy.

Quantum computing applications are still in their infancy. Besides the advancements expected on the technical side, a significant change in mentality and the way of thinking is also paramount. Only this way, both academia and industries will bring this field to the next level and prove the universal validity of the dissipative quantum field theory.


What does the future hold?

At Supertrends, we crowdsource predictions about the future across worldwide industries – directly from the experts who are creating it. Visit the Supertrends App and search for ‘quantum computing’ to find out when various quantum computing applications are predicted to make breakthroughs. Not an App user yet? Visit the Supertrends Pro – page to learn about your benefits and request a trial – for free!
© 2020 Supertrends

References

[1] Rodolfo Gambini and Jorge Pullin, “Event Ontology in Quantum Mechanics and the Problem of Emergence,” n.d., 10.

[2] E. A. Rauscher, J. J. Hurtak, and D. E. Hurtak, “The Ontological Basis of Quantum Theory, Nonlocality and Local Realism,” Journal of Physics: Conference Series 1251 (June 2019): 012042, https://doi.org/10.1088/1742-6596/1251/1/012042.

[3] Hans Christian Öttinger, A Philosophical Approach to Quantum Field Theory (Cambridge, United Kingdom: CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY PRESS, 2018).

[4] Andrei Khrennikov, “‘Social Laser’: Action Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Social Energy,” Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences 374, no. 2058 (January 13, 2016): 20150094, https://doi.org/10.1098/rsta.2015.0094.

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