3M unveils five-cutting edge science and technology trends shaping the future of tomorrow

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3M Futures inaugural global study explores perceptions and expectations of science and technological innovation, and how individuals view its impact in their lives

Dubai, UAE: In line with its plans to use science to improve lives and help solve the world’s toughest challenges, 3M revealed five cutting-edge science and technology trends shaping the world today and the future of tomorrow through its recently launched platform, 3M Futures. The platform features data from global, third-party research in addition to perspectives from 3M experts, scientists, engineers and designers at the forefront of their fields, to understand key science, technology and design trends that will impact the world.

3M Futures highlighted the following key trends in 2022:

  • Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR): Mixed reality is already changing the way we live, work and entertain — the metaverse is poised to change our perceptions of reality.
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI): How artificial intelligence and machine learning are revolutionizing everything from entertainment to business but require conversations about broader implications and ethics.
  • Sustainable Materials: The circular economy is introducing innovation in material science and design while disrupting industry, ushering in a more sustainable future.
  • The New Paradigm — A Pandemic Aware World: The pandemic has created a paradigm shift in how we interact. From telemedicine and health-conscious design to remote work, the new abnormal is here to stay.
  • Equity — Through Science and Technology: The greatest innovation comes from diverse thinkers. Equity, representation and equal access to science and technology learning, like minority representation and STEM in youth, are paramount to solving the challenges of today — and tomorrow.

“In a constantly evolving world, understanding the role of science and technology in shaping the future is critical to solving some of the most pressing challenges in the industry,” said Laszlo Svinger, Vice President & Managing Director at 3M Middle East & Africa. “Through 3M Futures, we are able to understand what works well and where we can improve to shape the future by designing and engineering relevant solutions to serve the needs of our customers.”

3M Futures uncovers global perceptions of future technologies, revealing what respondents believe future innovation should focus on across the globe and the ways they have — or have not — directly interacted with the technologies referenced across the five core trends.

In addition, key findings from the study also revealed:

  • Science and technology: Public health, humanitarian crises, extreme weather crises, a cure for Alzheimer’s and ecological disasters will be key issues to focus on over the next 5 years.
  • Mainstream Virtual Reality: Virtual reality is expected to be a normal part of our everyday lives sooner than other advancements, particularly in gaming and entertainment.
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) interest and concerns: While people are excited about AI, many are concerned about data privacy and want more transparency on how the technology is being used in society.
  • Sustainability – Top environmental threats: Single-use plastics are a bigger threat to the environment than fossil fuels and fast fashion.
  • Real life versus tech: In the shadow of the pandemic, tech-driven innovations are being met with some resistance as many are trying to decrease tech in their life and seek in-person socialization and hobbies.

3M Futures Survey Methodology
Global business intelligence company Morning Consult conducted research on behalf of 3M among an audience of n=22,001 Adults ages 18-64 from the US, UK, Mexico, Brazil, Canada, Germany, France, China, India, Japan, and South Korea between November 17- Dec. 18, 2021. The interviews were conducted online, and the data was balanced across gender, age, income, and region. Results from the survey have a margin of error of +/- 1%.

3M Experts
The expert contributors chosen to participate include an array of 3M scientists, engineers, designers and other leaders at the forefront of their industries. From artificial intelligence to equity, each is passionate about their field and has a personal interest in broad applications of the relevant technology and science.

About 3M:

At 3M, we apply science in collaborative ways to improve lives daily as our employees connect with customers all around the world.