Back at the beginning of the new millennium PEL Associates made a number of predictions of expected technical advances which are given below.  Several of these are already coming to pass including: advances in Biotechnology (e.g., renewable resources) , Green Products and Processes (e.g., synthetic fuels from natural materials), Automotive (e.g., recyclable parts, new composites), IT Innovations (e.g., printable films, better LEDs), Nanotechnology (e.g., stronger composites, miniatureized devices) and E-Commerce (e.g., globalization, inventory efficiencies). 

January 1, 2000

Expected Technical Advances in the New Millennium

PEL Associates expects a number of key technical advances as we enter the new millennium. These involve implementation of biotechnology, development of green processes and products, new material designs for the automotive industry, innovations targeted for the IT revolution, nanotechnology for applications in medicine, industry and defense, and E-commerce to enhance profitability and globalization.

  • Implementation of Biotechnology: Utilization of renewable resources and biotechnology to alleviate dependence on petrochemicals and natural gas-based systems will be a key activity, creating new monomers and polymers via bacterial fermentation and genetically engineered processes.
  • Development of Green Processes & Products: Design of cleaner manufacturing plants, new biodegradable polymers, use of supercritical polymerization media (such as supercritical CO2) are making headway and should continue.
  • New Material Designs for the Automotive Industry: Lighter/stronger composites, new modular designs, and class A finish materials, all of which should be recyclable will be a major goal in automotive.
  • Innovations Targeted for the IT Revolution: Development of polymer lasers, flexible thin film circuits for computers, polymers for smaller/denser faster chips, and quicker switches, improved displays (e.g., LEDs), and new and improved CMP (i.e., chemical mechanical wafer polishing) for more complex circuit layering are among the areas enhancing the IT revolution, and should power the economy further.
  • Nanotechnology: Applications to stronger polymeric materials in composites and coatings, better packaging films, miniaturized electronic and photonic devices, and new biotech nano-advances including dendrimers for gene therapy, in-vivo drug release, and enhanced prosthesis should be among many developments made possible via nanotechnology. We expect nanotechnology to be a leading area of important innovations in the new millennium.
  • Use of E-Commerce to Enhance Profitability and Globalization: Worldwide customer interface, rapid response, tailored products, lower inventory requirements, and lower costs are routes to business success in the new century.

For more info., Dr. Wallach can be reached at PEL Associates: 860-448-6522 or you can contact us via e-mail at: mlwallach@pelassociates.com.