As part of foresight & futures thinking in MIGHT, we look at the risk and vulnerabilities as well as opportunities that could be derived from any scenario. The COVID-19 crisis is one such scenario, and like all major crisis that preceded it will change the economic landscape of the future. However, with the crisis – there is also opportunities for entirely new industries to emerge and the strengthening of certain industries as well.
If we look at the technology development perspective, there is no doubt that this crisis will favour some technologies and will probably even accelerate creation of new industries. There is a need to recognize the signs and invest in technology that are well-positioned to benefit from and post crisis.
We need to look at technologies that support but not limited to the following objectives:-
Creating resilient industries – Making Malaysia industry resilient is key towards ensuring that they will survive come what may and continue to support national growth. Therefore, there is a need to monitor technologies that enable local resilience.
Increase self-sufficiency – As one country after another is closing its borders in the attempt to stop the pandemic, it has given more weight to the fact that it is better to rely on local systems, to be self-sufficient and create a system that rely less on global trade.
Rethinking business supply chains – As we embrace globalization, supply chain has become more complex and spread out across the world. Production has become more efficient but more prone to disruption. Perhaps global sourcing that place an emphasis “Just-In-Time”, “Lean-Manufacturing” which seek to reduce inventories and workers, needs a rethink.
The following are the 10 technology areas that I think that would enable the creation of new industries as well as help strengthen existing industries in alphabetical order.
- 3D printing – 3D printing technology could help build a distributed manufacturing base that would enable to produce critical parts locally in Malaysia.
- 5G communication networks – What the crisis have shown us that high-speed connectivity is critical in a world that works through the internet rather than through physical presence.
- AR & VR – Video conferencing and virtual collaboration will become both more popular and more sophisticated after this crisis. The use of AR & VR enables remote operation and production.
- Agriculture Technology – Technology to support precision agriculture and better harvesting to ensure food security and the sustainability of food and agricultural systems.
- Digital twins – Digital twins enable the realization of industry 4.0 can be used to run simulations before actual devices are built and deployed remotely.
- Drones – The use of drones would enable medical and other supplies to be safely transported to and from crisis areas. During the “restricted movement” time, drones could patrol areas and observe crowds and traffic more efficiently.
- Food & groceries delivery systems – The current crisis has highlighted the importance of food and grocery delivery. As restaurants and shops are closed, people are discovering food and grocery delivery services as an alternative.
- IoT & Sensors – This is almost a no brainer. Anything that is “Smart” will require the use IoT and sensors. Mobilized together with some of technology listed in this list will provide solutions during and post crisis.
- Robotics – Crisis such as this is what robots should be built for. Robots can help doctors’ distance from patients and help those in isolation cope. The use of robotics would also enable local production and thus promote resilience for Malaysian manufacturing industry.
- Recycling & urban mining – To be sustainable, local economies require local feedstock, and all recycling and upcycling technologies can help achieve that especially technology used to recycle rare and valuable metals from waste materials.
Image by congerdesign from pixarbay