Future topics

Expertise from research is highly valuable for the economy if it anticipates and addresses future challenges. To do this, DLR identifies topics of future relevance and evaluates the potential for research findings in these areas to be transferred to future markets. DLR systematically analyses and evaluates trends in technology, business, politics, society and the environment using conventional and AI-based methods, shaping its research activities accordingly with a view to future transfer.

In dialogue with business and experts from various disciplines and departments, DLR is continuously developing its knowledge of the future, informed by business and society.

For policymakers and wider society, these insights into the future guide socio-political, economic and political strategy and focus.

Trend analysis comprises three major steps:

1. Recognising and filtering signals

2. Evaluating trends

3. Communication and feedback

Signals can come in the form of news, scientific publications, patent notifications, social media posts, political papers and much more.

As soon as signals start coming together, trends have to be sorted into different contexts and evaluated. One way of doing this is the STEEP process, which subdivides issues into their socio-cultural, technological, economic, environmental, political and legal aspects.

Communication within the organisation is key to the effectiveness of trend identification at DLR. Feedback from experts and from the DLR community is used to fine-tune the classification of trends and helps determine forward-focused topics of relevance.

To learn more about DLR’s work on trends and future markets, write to trends[at]DLR.de