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Przemysław Szleter, Founder and CEO of DAC.digital, is a member of the Forbes Technology Council, an exclusive community for top-tier technology executives. In this role, he will share insights on DeepTech, Emerging Technologies, and Research and Development on the Forbes website. With over two decades of experience, Przemek has been instrumental in advancing emerging technologies and establishing DAC.digital as a leading DeepTech company in Europe. His profile on Forbes will regularly feature updates on building R&D-focused companies, particularly emphasizing DeepTech solutions for real-world problems. Stay tuned for more updates from Przemek in the tech space.
This article originate from forbes.com.
Przemek’s role in Forbes
Problem-Solving With Deep Tech: Five Fields To Watch Out For In The Next 10 Years
Deep tech is much more about the market than just technology. Identifying a customer, business or social impact problem and developing a solution based on engineering innovations, emerging technologies and scientific breakthroughs is what “deep tech” is in its true sense.
Deep tech startups and companies are often, but not always, founded by scientists and engineers who deeply understand the underlying scientific principles and technical challenges of their technology. These companies work closely with academic and research institutions to develop and commercialize their technologies and may require longer development cycles and more specialized expertise than traditional technology startups.
Deep tech is a rapidly growing field with significant potential to drive innovation and create new solutions to some of the world’s most pressing challenges. Previously, I have written about focal points for deep tech startups and entrepreneurial journeys in deep tech. In this article, I will shed some light on the five fields worth watching out for in the next 10 years if you want to solve problems with deep tech.
Five Fields To Watch Out For In The Next Decade
Deep tech applications globally are going to witness a surge across various sectors. In the past year or so, I have observed that businesses, policymakers and investors have been keener on certain sectors than others. Of course, it is totally true that gone are the days when sectors could be independently important on their own.
In the era of deep tech and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, there is a wide overlap of technology and science across several sectors.
1. Energy, Environment And Climate
Perhaps the most popular topics being discussed today are those that are most closely associated with any conversation about sustainability. Several areas within this field could be addressed—for instance, solutions to enhance air quality by monitoring and lowering emissions, more efficient forecasting in energy markets and increasing conservation efforts for the environment, biodiversity, water, soil and forests.
Applying machine learning and AI-powered algorithms can improve the accuracy and efficiency of forecasting, environmental controls and assessments. Recent advancements, like the NBEATSx architecture that academics introduced for electricity price forecasting, enable the interpretability of the intricate deep learning structure, which I consider to be a significant advance in the applicability of deep tech.
Moreover, there is a swift increase in publicly funded projects such as AFarCloud, where our team contributed to developing the Product Environmental Footprint Calculation system, which is boosting the diffusion of deep tech.
2. Health And Lifestyle
The Covid-19 pandemic has been a boon to accelerating cutting-edge innovation in health and lifestyle. Moderna’s use of deep tech to develop the Covid-19 vaccine has already been deemed a miracle. However, reports suggest that there has been quite a bit of resistance.
At the same time, this also means many opportunities are still knocking on the door. Solutions in healthcare, such as Flytta from MedEngine, or in lifestyle, such as smart wearables from Urbaner, are already impacting consumer markets.
To give you a perspective on the growth opportunities, it is worth noting that projections show a 42.4% CAGR growth from 2022 through to 2029, if we only consider the artificial intelligence (AI) applications in the healthcare market standing at USD $13.82 billion as of 2022.
3. Agriculture And Production
The increasing population is straining planetary resources, especially necessities such as food and everyday consumables. The problem is exacerbated by supply chain interruptions, human labor shortages and climate change, which drive the need for traceability, technology innovation and automation. Here, deep tech is poised to play an important role.
In a large consortium of 57 partners, we are currently working on a European Commission project, AGRARSENSE, that would yield deep-tech solutions in greenhouses, vertical farming, precision viticulture, agricultural robotics, autoforest, organic soils and fertilizers and water/irrigation.
There is ample investment from the private and public sectors flowing into the agriculture and production sectors as governments and businesses globally try to match the increasing demand. Hence, this is a field to watch out for in particular.
4. Mobility, Transportation And Logistics
The Covid-19 pandemic dealt a tremendous blow to the transportation and mobility sectors, and, at the same time, raised the need to strengthen logistics and supply chains. It resulted in a global transformation of this field with the induction of deep tech, especially for autonomous mobility, shared mobility and alternative fuel vehicles.
The respective market sizes for these sectors are expected to exceed $2,161.79 billion (by 2030 for autonomous mobility), $731 billion (by 2030 for shared mobility) and $1,681.80 billion (by 2028 for alternative fuel vehicles), indicating bright potential.
In the next decade, the financial sector is set to encounter disruptive innovations from deep tech. Since before the pandemic, there has been a call to revamp the financial systems to increase their stability, inclusivity and depth.
Since then, AI, blockchain, edge computing, IoT, no-code and low-code, hyper-automation and deep learning have become integrated and intertwined with the financial sector through FinTech solutions. In 2020, the FinTech market size was estimated to be $110.57 billion, which is anticipated to reach $698 billion by 2030. A CAGR of over 20% certainly shows ample business opportunities.
What Next? Actionable Insights
This is a non-exhaustive list of fields where the considerable impact of deep tech solutions is poised to bring about positive change. When choosing a sector to work with, it is essential to dive deeply into it and not explore it superficially.
I have seen startups and even businesses at various stages fail because, at some moments, they decide to cut small corners, which results in harsh consequences. Solving problems with deep tech requires patience, both from your end as well as from the investors and stakeholders. So, to successfully solve problems with deep tech, you need to “NAIL IT”: Navigate, Achieve, Improve and Lead with Intent and Tenacity!
Przemek contribution to Forbes!