New Technology Connections is your resource to emerging technologies within IEEE. The IEEE Future Directions Committee has identified the technologies on this page as primary focus areas and has established them as formal initiatives to engage IEEE. For each initiative, you will find a wealth of knowledge, resources, and opportunities to participate.

Visit each featured portal to access upcoming conferences, news articles, technical publications, related standards, and academic programs. To get involved, please join the IEEE technical communities available on the portals below and receive the Future Directions Newsletter. To learn more, contact Future Directions.

IEEE Future Tech Forum

The IEEE Future Tech Forum, organized by IEEE Future Directions, is a series of audience-engaging roundtable discussions with a focus on leading technologies, frontline issues, crucial challenges, and societal impacts; with global subject-matter experts and thought leaders.

Fostering partnerships and conversations with industry, academia, and government, this forum offers compelling discussions and interactive participation. Visit the IEEE Future Tech Forum website to learn more, register for upcoming sessions, and access previous sessions on-demand.

New initiatives

Get involved in the current IEEE Future Directions Initiatives:

IEEE Blockchain

Blockchain - More than Cryptocurrency, blockchain is a technological foundation to a new way of conducting transactions, securing networks, and recording the validity and origin of data. Blockchain will allow a new perspective on how humans interact to society's challenges; touching upon everything from financial transactions, energy trading, carbon emission trading, protection and easy access to healthcare records, to the protection of the valued assets of corporations and nation states.

IEEE Digital Reality

Digital Reality - This initiative serves to enable the coming Digital Transformation through collaboration among technologists, engineers, regulators, and ethicists. The Digital Transformation is fueled by advances in sensors and actuators, artificial intelligence (AI), and machine learning (ML). By leveraging these technologies and others, such as augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and Digital Twins, the line between the physical world and the digital world will be increasingly less distinct.

IEEE Future Networks

Future Networks - IEEE Future Networks is dedicated to bringing together researchers, scientists, and engineers from industry, academia, and governments around the world to solve the challenges associated with the development and deployment of next-generation network infrastructure. The IEEE Future Networks initiative will be a collaborative effort, bringing interdisciplinary exchange from a wide range of professional expertise and practical application knowledge.

IEEE Quantum

Quantum - IEEE Quantum will serve as IEEE's leading community for all projects and activities on quantum technologies. The initiative is currently developing a project plan to address the current landscape of quantum technologies, identify challenges and opportunities, leverage and collaborate with existing initiatives, and engage the quantum community at large.


Small projects

The IEEE Future Directions Committee (FDC) seeks to identify, develop, and promote projects that are value-added for IEEE and its members, bringing together multiple Societies and Councils to provide broad and deep perspectives on a particular topic, application, or technology. These projects range from short-term activities to reach a specific goal to Future Directions Initiatives seeking longer-term cross-collaborative engagement among industry, academia, and government striving to develop and deploy various future technologies.

New technology focus areas: Getting started

IEEE Future Directions Committee invites IEEE members to apply for funding for new projects in emerging technologies. There are two types of funding available: seed funding for new and innovative projects that have not been formerly funded by IEEE Future Directions, and graduated initiative funding for former IEEE Future Directions Initiatives that have graduated and are seeking additional support. The process for applying for each can be found on the Future Directions Opportunities page. The current New Technology Proposal List is also available.

IEEE Future Directions Handbook

The purpose of the Future Directions Handbook is to provide guidance while creating and developing an IEEE Future Directions Initiative through its entire life cycle. This includes best practices, lessons learned, ideas for building new products and services, ideas for revenue generation, identifying proper organizational roles and responsibilities, and establishing budgets and financial goals. As part of the life cycle for an initiative, guidelines will be provided on completing an initiative, possible outcomes, and exit strategy. It will be continuously updated as new ideas and processes are identified.

IEEE Future Directions events

Join IEEE Future Directions at the following events.

IEEE Future Directions Newsletter

Subscribe to the IEEE Future Directions Newsletter
Participants of current and graduated IEEE Future Directions technical communities receive this newsletter automatically. If you wish to receive the newsletter in your inbox, please subscribe to one or more of the technical communities listed on this page.

IEEE Future Directions considers the reflection of technology through the lens of social implications a key tenant of its work as it incubates and promotes technologies. IEEE Technology Policy & Ethics features timely technical, policy, ethical, social, and governmental, but not political, commentary related to emerging technologies and advancements. Read these articles in the IEEE Future Directions Newsletter.








For additional articles on emerging technologies, visit the Future Directions Feature Articles page.

IEEE Future Directions Resource Center

The IEEE Future Directions Resource Center offers a selection of products for sale, including eLearning and continuing education courses, newsletters, videos, webinars, and white papers. IEEE members and technical community subscribers receive discounts on all products. Through the Resource Center, you will get a glimpse into the various Future Directions initiatives and their wide range of offerings.

IEEE Future Directions podcasts

IEEE Future Directions interviews top subject-matter experts in the field through its Q&A podcast series.

IEEE Blockchain PodcastsIEEE Digital Reality PodcastsIEEE Future Networks PodcastsIEEE Quantum Podcasts

Graduated initiatives

These initiatives had their start within IEEE Future Directions and have graduated. Some have continued as self-managed communities, and others have taken a different path.

IEEE Big Data

Big Data - Big data is much more than just data bits and bytes on one side and processing on the other. IEEE, through its Cloud Computing Initiative and multiple societies, took the lead on the technical aspects of big data. To provide increased value, IEEE provided a framework for collaboration throughout IEEE. IEEE launched a new initiative focused on big data. One of the products from the initiative is the successful IEEE DataPort.

IEEE Brain

Brain - This initiative is dedicated to advancing technologies that improve the understanding of brain function, revolutionizing current abilities to reverse engineer neural circuits in both the central and peripheral nervous systems, and developing new approaches to interface the brain with machines for augmenting human-machine interaction and mitigating effects of neurological disease and injury.

IEEE Cloud Computing

Cloud Computing - This has become a scalable service consumption and delivery platform in the modern IT infrastructure. IEEE is advancing the understanding and use of the cloud computing paradigm, which currently has a significant impact on the entire information and communications ecosystem.

IEEE Cybersecurity

Cybersecurity - Through outreach projects, workshops, experiments, and challenge competitions, the IEEE Cybersecurity Initiative builds on IEEE’s long-standing and world-leading technical activities in cybersecurity and privacy to actively engage, inform, and support members, organizations, and communities involved in cybersecurity research, development, operations, policy, and education.

IEEE Internet of Things

Internet of Things (IoT) - IoT is a self-configuring and adaptive system consisting of networks of sensors and smart objects whose purpose is to interconnect "all" things, including everyday and industrial objects, in such a way as to make them intelligent, programmable, and more capable of interacting with humans.

IEEE Life Sciences

Life Sciences - The overall objective is to make IEEE a major and recognized player in the life sciences, in particular in the disciplines that are at the intersection between the organization's traditional fields—electrical engineering, computer engineering, and computer science—and the life sciences.

IEEE Rebooting Computing

Rebooting Computing - IEEE seeks to rethink the computer, "from soup to nuts," including all aspects from device to user interface. This group works from a holistic viewpoint, taking into account evolutionary and revolutionary approaches.

IEEE Smart Cities

Smart Cities - IEEE experts will work with local government leaders and city planners around the world to explore the issues and address what's needed to prepare for the ever-increasing urban population growth, including engaging and interacting with local inhabitants to increase awareness of their urban environment, leading to the formation of smart cities.

IEEE Smart Grid

Smart Grid - The "smart grid" has come to describe a next-generation electrical power system that is typified by the increased use of communications and information technology in the generation, delivery, and consumption of electrical energy.

IEEE Software Defined Networks

Software Defined Networks (SDN) - SDN and NFV (Network Functions Virtualization) are creating the conditions to reinvent network architectures. This is happening first at the edge of the network where "intelligence" has already started migrating, and where innovation is more urgently needed to overcome the "ossification" by improving networks and services infrastructure flexibility.

IEEE Sustainable ICT

Sustainable ICT - Sustainable Information and Communications Technology is a key driver of sustainability when green metrics (energy consumption, atmospheric emissions, e-waste, life cycle management) are effectively coupled with its positive socio-economic impacts. IEEE is focused on achieving sustainability and promoting its awareness.

IEEE Transportation Electrification Community

Transportation Electrification - IEEE seeks to accelerate the development and implementation of new technologies for the electrification of transportation which is manifested in the electric vehicles (EV) of today and the future.

IEEE Future Directions Committee

The IEEE Future Directions Committee (FDC), in association with Societies, Councils, and OUs, anticipates and determines the direction of existing, new, and emerging technologies and related issues, and spearheads their investigation and development by IEEE. Taking a holistic view, the FDC emphasizes new, emerging technical areas and drives them to maturity within the IEEE infrastructure. Additionally, the FDC serves as a liaison to and fosters cooperative efforts among Societies, Councils, and industry to develop new products and services in emerging topics.
The primary working objectives of the IEEE Future Directions Committee:
  • Incubates emerging technologies and new applications of current technologies
  • Identifies opportunities to engage the engineering community and the general public
  • Works with IEEE members and staff to focus on emerging technologies through technical, professional, and educational activities
  • Serves as a catalyst for new conferences, publications, standards, educational products, forums, white papers, grants, and projects to support new technologies

IEEE Technology Roadmaps Committee

IEEE RoadmapsThe IEEE Technology Roadmaps Committee (ITRC) works to provide guidance and infrastructure to support technology roadmap activities across IEEE. ITRC reports into the IEEE Future Directions Committee.

The growing interest in technology roadmaps spans a wide range of IEEE organizational units. ITRC seeks to enable the success of IEEE’s technology roadmap activities by leveraging the expertise of experienced roadmap developers to create tools and templates and document a high-level roadmap development process to assist new roadmaps.

New Technology proposal list

Through its committee and Industry Advisory Board, IEEE Future Directions has compiled and maintains a list of new technology areas for consideration. For more detailed information, see the IEEE Future Directions New Technology Proposal List.

You are welcome to submit new ideas via this form. For inquiries, contact IEEE Future Directions at

  • 3D Imaging and Multi-Media
  • In Memory Computing
  • 3-D Printing
  • Internet of Space
  • Autonomous Systems and their Societal Impact
  • Micro Fluidics
  • Bio Fuel
  • NanoPore DNA Sequencing
  • Carbon Sequestration
  • NewOS: RebootlessOS
  • Clean Water
  • Power in Mobile Systems
  • Cognitive Radio
  • Reliability
  • Digital Cultural Heritage and Smart Environments
  • Robotics and Swarms
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Safety Critical Systems, Next Gen
  • Fog Computing and Networking
  • Symbiotic Machines
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IEEE Future Directions Blog

Read the IEEE Future Directions Blog by Roberto Saracco for daily insight and observations on emerging technologies, trends, and their implications.

IEEE Future Directions

IEEE Future Directions Webinars

IEEE Future Directions now offers a comprehensive collection of webinars on a variety of groundbreaking, cutting-edge technologies.

IEEE Future Directions Webinars

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