A Publication of WTVP

Talent, innovation and technology—our economic future depends on these things. As the region continues to emerge from one of the deepest economic recessions in a generation, it will be important to look to the future growth sectors of our economy, including healthcare, education and professional services. In addition, the traditional industries of manufacturing and construction, while not projected to grow significantly over the next decade, will continue to make a strong contribution to the regional economy.

To maintain a competitive advantage now and into the future, we will have to be on the cutting edge of innovation. The emerging technologies of artificial intelligence, genetics, biotechnology, nanotechnology, robotics and green technology will reshape the economic and social landscape of the 21st century and drive the growth of our economy.

The healthcare industry is projected to have solid growth well into the future, driven by millions of aging baby boomers. Healthcare will also be impacted by revolutionary advances in genetics, biotechnology and nanotechnology. These emerging sciences will enable researchers to better understand the molecular base of health and lead to improved methods of treating and preventing disease. An additional benefit will be the development of new products that can give quicker, more accurate tests, therapies with fewer side effects, and safer vaccines.

The future of manufacturing will continue to depend on the development of new technologies. Advances in nanotechnology will enable industry to build new products by manipulating molecules directly. It will lower the costs of production of all goods and services, permitting self-assembly modes of production and further miniaturization of control systems. Robotics and advances in artificial intelligence and information technology will continue to replace highly repetitive or routine work processes while
improving productivity.

Advances in green technology will create new industries and impact manufacturing from the transportation industry to household goods. In order to compete globally and meet more stringent environmental codes, manufacturers will need to run machines more efficiently, with less disruption to the environment, while reducing energy consumption. The construction industry will also be radically changed, resulting in new building materials and processes.

In the knowledge and innovation economy of the 21st century, competitive advantage and productivity is improved through constant investment in technology and skill development of the workforce. New technologies will require higher levels of skill, education and training. Incumbent workers will require ongoing professional development to keep pace with constantly changing business processes. Entrant workers will require postsecondary education and training with an increasing emphasis on math, science and creative thought. Talent will be the most valuable natural resource in the 21st century. iBi