These are mostly hopeful speculation, but I'd still put some money down on them coming true at some point in the future
  1. Space mining
    NASA has been eyeing an asteroid visit for some time now and with new legislation in place to enable outer space business practices, companies like spaceX might jump at the opportunity to haul valuable cargo on the trip back to Erf.
  2. Deep-space exploration
    In keeping with the previous space theme, new propulsion systems seem to be on the verge of breaking through the time and cost barriers of long range, manned expeditions. Seemingly inane concepts like solar sails and the EmDrive have even passed preliminary feasibility studies and are on their way to full-scale tests.
  3. Natural computing
    Although a relatively obscure field, a dedicated group of researchers continue to explore the possibilities of using elements of nature, such as DNA or organic molecules to replace traditional silicon-based technologies in modern computers. More likely than simply augmenting current computer architectures is the development of completely new computing devices like the recently revealed quantum computer, D-Wave, hosted at NASA Ames.
  4. Programmable materials
    The idea behind materials that can be programmed is not new, but only recently has it been successfully demonstrated. By controlling the atomic structure of matter, materials with virtually any property can be created and controlled by their environment. This has given rise to new structures with unbelievable capabilities such as cloaking or on-demand magnetization and hardening.
  5. Protein engineering
    Design of new protein molecules has been a long standing challenge in creating functional biological systems and particularly in the pharmaceutical industry. Proteins form much of the basis behind the way biological systems operate with nearly limitless potential to tune the overall functionality by modifying the underlying protein structure.