As has become tradition, we’ve gathered some of Silicon Valley’s foremost experts on topics relevant to Fremont’s top industries to discuss their educated predictions for the coming year. These macro-level insights help shape our Economic Development team’s focus for how best to support our businesses and economy. As you read about what’s in store for commercial real estate, clean energy, and additive manufacturing, it’s clear that the innovation coming from the Bay Area will continue to make a positive impact on the global technology community and economy.

Vladimir Bosanac
Co-founder & Publisher
The Registry | Bay Area Real Estate

During this cycle, the large technology companies have become generational companies. By this, I mean these companies will be mostly unaffected by economic cycles, and their goals will be to build services and products that we will be using and buying years and decades from now. As evidence of this, I present the leasing velocity of some of these firms around the region. The amount of space they are taking has little to do with this cycle and economic circumstance. It has more to do with their plans to enter new areas of commerce, transform existing enterprises, or invent new products and services. The fact that we are in a region where three of the top five global firms are headquartered likely means that the Bay Area will play a much more significant role in the global economy than it did in the past.

Jetta Wong
Clean Energy Consultant
President (Owner)
JLW Advising

Whether it is for the electrification of the transportation sector or for grid and residential storage capacity, the demand for battery technologies is on the rise. These renewable energy and battery storage systems will help make the grid more reliable and resilient, helping struggling utilities and consumers, especially in areas prone to losing power. Additionally, new and more affordable electric cars are no longer a novelty, at least in California, range anxiety is down and new charging infrastructure is on its way. Now the internal combustion engine isn’t gone yet, but the efficiency of batteries is increasing, the cost is decreasing, and more car companies are moving into this already crowded field. Trends are moving in the right direction.

The San Francisco Bay Area has an opportunity to champion the science and the manufacturing of battery technology. Putting together its scientific resources, entrepreneurial spirit, and high-value innovative manufacturing capabilities of the private sector, it can capitalize on the strong demand for batteries and come up on top. Especially if it is able to go beyond lithium-ion batteries. New battery chemistries, new materials, and whole new storage technologies are already flourishing here. The future for batteries is bright, but time is running out quickly before other countries like China get the cutting edge. The time to act is now.

Teresa J. Thuruthiyil
Chief Strategy Officer
PrinterPrezz, Inc.

In 2019, we will see 3D printing deliver equal or better results than traditional manufacturing technologies in a variety of industries from consumer goods to healthcare/medical devices. Offering significant gains in speed and access, 3D printing has matured to a stage that we are now able to rapid prototype and manufacture at scale on the same equipment. In addition, innovation in materials, including engineering-grade PEEK and titanium alloy known as Ti6Al4V-ELI, is accelerating the increase in 3D printing applications. Leveraging additive and other advanced manufacturing technologies all the way from prototyping through to volume manufacturing will change designers’ expectations of development, iteration, and invention. It will enable a shift in the way we think about what is possible.