WASHINGTON—The future of America's economy depends in large measure on the ability of industry to exploit new and emerging technologies, according to a new Commerce Department study.

The report, prepared by experts from the National Bureau of Standards and other Commerce agencies, identifies seven major groups of emerging technologies that they believe will result in new products or processes in the next century. These include advanced materials, electronics, automation, biotechnology, computing, medical technology and thin-layer technology.

Some of these already are in commercial development: high-performance ceramics, advanced microelectronics, supercomputers and genetically engineered drugs and chemicals. Others will require substantially greater R&D efforts before reaching the market.

Clarence J. Brown, deputy secretary of commerce, said that such constraints as the high cost of capital, less favorable tax incentives, and industry's inability to adopt long-range goals are among the barriers impeding exploitation of emerging technologies. Other barriers, he said, include inadequate protection...

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