Congratulations to Sam Stephenson, Charlotte Guffick (University of Cambridge) and Dr. András Sándor (University of Oxford) – joint first prize winners of the Horizon Scanning competition 2022. A further congratulations to Séamus Gate (University of Bristol) who received ‘Highly Commended’.
First prize winners received £1,500 each and the highly commended winner: £150.00.
Horizon scanning is an important tool that can prepare policy- and decision-makers to respond to complex emerging technological, political, environmental, and economic challenges. This new horizon scanning competition, launched by Cambridge Industrial Innovation Policy, asked UK-enrolled students and early career researchers for ideas on what future scenarios policy makers should have on their radar over the next ten to fifty years.
Stephenson and Gufflick’s winning entry: ‘Growing pains: new methods of food production to feed the planet in an age of climate breakdown’ predicted how evolving climate and geopolitical crises will make it harder to produce food using conventional methods leading to new scientific developments in molecular biology and the engineering of food production.
Whilst Sandor’s ‘Synthetic embryos could break the idea of a nuclear family and revolutionise medicine by growing replacement organs’ explored how the ability to grow human embryos in mechanical wombs could drastically alter how we view the concept of family.
Judge Dr Eoin O’Sullivan, Director of the Centre for Science, Technology and Innovation Policy at the Institute for Manufacturing said:
“This competition was about encouraging students and early career researchers to develop an interest in horizon scanning and an awareness of the opportunities to contribute to real-world policy- and decision-making. We were absolutely delighted to receive so many high-quality entries and offer our congratulations to the winners.”
Thank you to all the entrants and judges Simone Boekelaar, Head of Horizon Scanning at Innovate UK, Emily Connolly, Head of the Emerging Technologies Team, Government Office for Science, Professor Sir Mike Gregory, Chair of the Babbage International Policy Forum and Dr Eoin O’Sullivan, Director of the Centre for Science, Technology and Innovation Policy at the Institute for Manufacturing, University of Cambridge.
You can view copies of the eight shortlisted entries below.
Disclaimer: The scenarios submitted were intended to be thought-provoking and stimulate further discussion, debate and analysis. The submissions were judged purely in terms of the quality of the evidence synthesis and the quality of communication (of a future scenario and its potential impacts). The awards do not represent a validation of the particular scenarios by the judges, the Institute for Manufacturing or the University of Cambridge.
The next Horizons Scanning competition will be held in summer 2023, further information to follow.
Joint first prize: Growing pains: new methods of food production to feed the planet in an age of climate breakdown. Authors: Sam Stephenson and Charlotte Guffick
Joint first prize: Synthetic embryos could break the idea of a nuclear family and revolutionise medicine by growing replacement organs. Author: Dr András Sándor
Highly commended: What impact will the climate emergency have on public health? Author: Séamus Gate
Below is a selection of other high-quality entries
Trust is changing -“the greatest gains were in a performance category that is almost impossible to measure – trust” Author: Shayma Salih
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is Becoming a Powerful Tool to Combat Climate Change. Author: Bessie April O’Dell
Automating science with advanced AI could lead to explosive economic growth by 2070. Author: Richard Moulange
DNA Sequencing of Air for Insect monitoring in Real-time by anyone, anywhere (DroneS-AIR). Author: Physilia Chua
The post COVID-19 acceleration of citizen science leads to an increase in society’s ability to meet health challenges. Author: Gabrielle McClymont