During this difficult year for mankind, we have become even more aware of how science, related research and innovation play an essential role in combating contemporary challenges.

And we are not only talking about medical science tout court, but also about scientific research that allows us to adapt the models of creation, consumption and disposal of what is needed human survival.

Ibm has a strong tradition in supporting scientific research for innovation and sustainability and through its Ibm Research division, each year it identifies five innovations that are destined to change our lives in the next five years.

A list of twenty developed innovations Ibm Research

Using technologies such as quantum, artificial intelligence, high performance computing and hybrid cloud, Ibm Research is working on accelerating scientific discovery in five areas that have a strong link to the sustainability of our future.

The use of semiconductors which are more efficient by the use of new photoresistant chemical compounds, the availability of batteries without cobalt and nickel, the capture and transformation of CO2 present in the atmosphere, the conversion of nitrogen in the soil to nitrate-rich fertilizer, as is the case in


By the end of the year there will be 3 times more devices connected than the number of human beings. Many of the devices used are not sustainable, even because of the semiconductors that make them up. Over the next five years, Ibm wants to discover new materials that allow semiconductor manufacturers to improve the sustainability of their products.

Central is the contribution of advanced quantum calculation, artificial intelligence and continuous research, so as to develop better and more sustainable, effective and secure computers. Ibm has provided expertise and tools to enable scientists to aggregate and analyse known information on photoresistant chemicals and thus push modelling on traditional high-performance computer systems. In this way, artificial intelligence systems will be able to build new models by suggesting classes of compounds that meet specific environmental and efficiency objectives.

New batteries

As the world population grows, energy use worldwide will increase by 50% by 2050. Renewable energy (solar, wind and hydropower) that does not release CO2 can help meet demand. But more reliable renewable energy is needed: existing sources are not currently supported by adequate infrastructure to ensure energy continuity and require storage facilities to avoid intermittent problems.

To solve this problem, Ibm is working to accelerate the discovery of new materials for batteries, safer and more environmentally preferable. The use of artificial intelligence and quantum calculation will allow you to design better batteries to meet the growing demand for electricity without affecting the temperature of the planet.

Researchers Ibm have already developed a iodine-based cathode battery, free of cobalt and nickel, which has a higher density, lower flashability and faster charging times than conventional batteries. Ibm also collaborated with scientists at Daimler AG to develop new generation lithium-zolf batteries, more powerful and economical, using quantum calculation to accurately simulate the interaction of lithium-zolf batteries molecules.

Less CO2

By 2025 CO2 in the atmosphere will reach limit levels, and governments and businesses are activated to cut emissions and contain global temperature. New materials and processes are needed for CO2 capture and transformation: over the next 5 years Ibm expects that technology will help capture atmospheric emissions more effectively, transforming CO2 into useful products and components, thus obtaining cleaner air and a more efficient air quality.

A team of Ibm researchers is committed to identifying existing and ready-to-use methods and materials, using cloud and NNP (natural language processing) technologies to extract information contained in patents and documents, and then apply artificial intelligence to

The objective is to make the process efficient by significantly reducing the level of harmful CO2 in the atmosphere at global level.

Nitrogen fixation

To support the growth of the world’s population, estimated to reach 10 billion people by 2050, compared to today’s 8 billion, we need to ensure access to food. Fertilizers play a decisive role in food production, but better and less energetic ways to produce them need to be identified.

Nitrogen, the most abundant gas in the atmosphere, is the main ingredient in modern industrial fertilizers, but producing a tonne of fertilizer requires the combustion of a tonne of fossil energy which transforms nitrogen into nitrates usable in agriculture. These substances affect carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere.

In the next five years it will be possible to replicate nature’s ability to convert nitrogen into nitrate-rich fertilisers in soil, feeding the world that will come and reducing the environmental impact of the agro-food industry.

With artificial intelligence and quantum calculation Ibm is working to reinvent traditional approaches to agriculture by developing innovative, sustainable and scalable solutions to allow nitrogen fixation.

Antiviral drugs

The last forecast of Ibm brings us back to the present: the Covid-19 pandemic. Science is working on creating and implementing a more efficient drug discovery process, so that you are ready to face any viral threats that may arise in the future.

The design of new drugs is difficult and costly and takes a long time: it takes more than $2 billion and more than 10 years before a new drug reaches the market.

Ibm will apply artificial intelligence, cloud and data analysis over the next five years to streamline the drug discovery process, accelerating the discovery of therapies and molecules to combat new viruses on a global scale and reducing research costs.

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