The "Delphi 98" report contains the views of more than 2000 experts from industry, research and education, who were asked to predict what they thought would be the most important developments over the next 30 years. They concluded that Germany leads the world in the environmental, energy, construction and transport sectors, and lies a close second behind the US in chemistry, production, biomedicine and space travel.

The report predicts that new workplace practices, an increasing use of multimedia and a trend towards life-long learning will be the key drivers of change in the first decade of the next century. It says that in the second decade, the need to protect the environment and cut greenhouse gas emissions will lead to the development of a host of new technologies. It also predicts that by 2015 more than 10% of electricity will be generated from renewable sources - a twentyfold increase on present levels.

The government plans to use the report to drive policy in the medium and long term.