While the initial pandemic outbreak presented uncertainty on the state of the 4IR, new reports present hopeful data that COVID-19 may have actually increased the momentum.

One report from our Korean foreign counsel Kim, Hong & Associates, showcases a 11.2% increase in Korean patent applications geared towards 4IR emerging technologies. This increase shadow’s the mere 3.3% increase in total Korean patent applications, revealing COVID-19’s impact on Korea’s innovative focuses. Notable, the report indicates that of the various emerging technologies, digital healthcare and biomarker-related patent applications rose 30% in comparison to the prior year. Additionally, health care applications utilizing Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies rose over 79% and applications utilizing big data increased just over 52%.

Additionally, according to a survey of 800 executives based in the U.S. and seven other tech-dominant countries, 67% of respondents reported that their companies have accelerated automation and artificial intelligence adoption following the pandemic. The report also indicates that over three quarters of executives within finance, insurance, and technology industries are increasing their company’s implementation of AI technologies.

While the initial reports and data points continue to trickle out regarding the state of innovation in a post-pandemic world, these glimpses present indicators that frontier technologies continue to drive innovation globally.

Emerging Technologies of
The Industrial Revolutions