Technologies in Demand
With the rapid progression of contemporary technologies that embrace totally all aspects of human lives and existing industries the determinant role of the innovations, technological breakthrough and IT is hardly undervalued. The beginning of the 21 Century is marked by the fast development of technologies which are in parallel becoming a strategic resource for different enterprises, big, medium and small. Market economy nowadays is leading to the drastic increase in the volumes and difficulties of the set tasks, decisions taken, planning and analytic work, financial component and the linkages between all the parties of the production and distribution network that is impossible without information exchange and implementation of newest technologies and programs. It’s clear that on the other side the plentiful scope of technologies and IT standards complicates the initial task of systematization and automatization of human labor resulting in the overestimated costs of particular technologies but obviously the global trends have already formed and emphasized the present technological preferences.
Both supply and demand factors are both important while speaking about the technology market; however the users, representing the demand side and their needs are the key success and a determinant for any technology or innovation not to failure. With the possibilities to modify technologies, forecast them and alter under the changing circumstances users should be taken into account from the very begging as a driving and significant force in the technology market. The nowadays practice is trying hard to reduce the past limitations of users involvement in the process of technological creation and introduction that led to the overflow of new technologies that are sometimes irrelevant, sometimes ineffective and plenty of standards which people have to cope with, and the massive predominance of supply side now is shifting to ‘ increase the degree of direct user involvement in the development of innovation, especially where there are complex innovations with high public visibility, such as transport systems’ (!).
However, If technology is taking the ‘right’ direction the interests of different levels of demand side will be affected, governmental and non-governmental organizations, global and local institutions, TNCs, technological regime supporters and critics, end-users. With the included scope of uncertainties and anticipations, the world community’s requirements to the future ITs and innovations can be categorized into the following groups:
- Health and safety requirements. This requirement is more than obvious and reflects the basic human need for protection in all kinds, what is interesting that people feel more comfort and protected while using or knowing that such a technology was used. Medical and gene technologies, food production technologies, as well as IT safety technologies and environment-protection technologies – all are designed to aim at the growing tension about safety issues.
- Simplicity and standardization. With the plenitude of standards and technological practices that differ greatly from country to country and from company to company the focus is transferring slowly to the simplification of the technologies’ application and the unification them in one way or another that is urgent especially in the globalization period.
- Efficiency and effectiveness. Here the issues to make technologies and ITs to bring not solutions but results, to aim primarily at high-performance avoiding at the same time structural differences and enabling the effective usage of fuel and energy based on technological decisions rise ahead.
- Availability and mobility. Efforts are made to satisfy the requirements of making the technologies spread widely with no limitations or borders, including cultural and administrative boundaries, and to achieve the mobility of technologies the more sophisticated and flexible solutions and innovations to affect the separation align provided by today’s technological companies should be available at every cite of the world, every stage of the business process that, in its turn, will contribute to the relationship between technological advancement and placement of new technologies into service more tight.
- Multi-role and interconnectivity. With so many devices and potential applications with different types of interconnection solutions the task is to aim the support of multi-functionality of a particular device and an easy non-sophisticated possibility to connect this device to the existing ones, especially if the objective is scalability.
With enhanced role of social responsibility, externalities of technologies, recognition of both present and future threats, downsides and possibilities of technological developments and the power offered of innovative technologies are the matter of huge importance and formed the fields of prosperous developments according to the application and specialization. Future technologies ‘where the perceptible usefulness of new technology products are balanced against associated risks that are shown to be manageable’ that will be in demand and are within the bounds of scientific possibilities can be ranged according to the fields of their application and characteristic features:
- Microelectronic and nanotechnologies
- Energetic ITs
- Information ecological technologies
- ITs of projecting and Intellectual ITs
- Technologies in the sphere of management and economics
Fertilizers Industry at the Technology Market
Scientific investigations and practical rational show that the critical challenge is the constant population growth reaching around 8,2 billion in 2030 with the limited production capacities in agriculture. Nearly all of the additional food, feed, fiber and bioenergy will need to be produced from the existing agricultural area. As a consequence, crop yields must improve. Higher crop yields will require increased nutrient supplies (!). In other words, this requires increased usage of all nutrient resources and, as a result, the integrated, time-specific and balanced use of fertilizers and in-time implementation of technologies to improve recycling.
Fertilizers perform an extremely specific product and due to their particular features of production and distribution were tightly connected with the technology that have played mostly the predominant role it the development and progression of the whole fertilizers industry. Growth and expansion of fertilizers industry primarily in the developing, as well as in developed countries and the countries with the changing economy was marked by the use of the improved technology. Nowadays, the international fertilizer trade is a very big business, ranking fourth after iron, coal and grain by value (!) and the technology progress of some major new-type fertilizers and manufacturing processes around the world that co-hears with the modern environmental issues attracts attention to agriculture and makes the domain of fertilizers technology the cornerstone for the industrial development. Despite of the fact that “about 75% of fertilizers and fertilizer technology used around the world today were developed or improved during the 1950s to 1970s by scientists and engineers at the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) in the United States” (!) the technological and IT impact emerged as one of the essential catalysts of the present development in the fertilizers industry. Furthermore, the use of chemical fertilizers which is below the recommended level and fertilizers distribution is supplemented and supported by the technologies applied. Generally, fertilizer industry and technological market are overlapped in three huge spheres that are proved by the present stage of development and are forming the basis for a future one: technological development of fertilizers themselves, technology of the manufacturing process and ITs as an integrating architecture. Any considerable change or an altered technology catalyst the structural changes in the companies involved in the fertilizers industry and need to be taken into account immediately. With the development of agriculture in the recent years and enhanced feeding question connected with the increased population agricultural companies are constantly seeking for the ways to get better harvests and to cultivate and fertilize crops more efficiently, thus leading to the fertilizers producers to spend resources on R&D more actively.