nant and transgenic technology and even synthetic biology) is increasing practically exponentially. So while there are only half a dozen fissile nuclear materials and dozens of “dual-use” chemicals that could be diverted for malevolent purposes, the number of potentially harmful biological agents is virtually limitless. In 15 to 20 years, dual-use technologies that have direct or indirect applications to the life sciences enterprise will continue their global expansion and local adaptations. China, for example, is expected to overtake the United States as the biggest producer of transgenic crops over the next 10 to 15 years.

ECONOMIC DRIVERS1

This section summarizes information presented during the workshop on how future market trends are expected to drive the growth and global dissemination of extant and emerging technologies. The focus of this discussion was the life sciences industry; and for the purposes of this discussion, the industry was divided into six sectors: pharma, medicine, agriculture, biomaterials, computing, and military.

All of the market trends described below and the advancing technologies that enable them, and are thus driven by them, are summarized in Table 3-1. Although certain technology trends are more relevant to particular commercial goals (e.g., aerosol technology obviously plays a much greater role in efforts to develop new means of drug delivery than it does for most of the other industrial pursuits), some are common to many or all. Of note, advances in bioinformatic technology will play an important role in all areas of application.

The Pharmaceutical Industry

Worth approximately U.S. $400 billion, the global pharmaceutical market dominates the life sciences industry and, as such, arguably determines the trajectory of life sciences-related technological development and global spread. North America and the European Union together account for three-quarters of the financial activity within the pharmaceutical industry (see Table 3-2). North America comprises 51 percent of the global market (U.S. $204 billion) and enjoys an annual growth rate of 12 percent. At U.S. $102 billion, the European Union comprises 25 percent of the global market and has an annual growth rate of 8 percent.

1  

This section is based on the workshop presentation of Terence Taylor, September 21, 2004.



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