The future prospects of sol-gel chemistry will concern at least two main groups of potential readers of this text. The first group is the new generation of scientists using this text as part of their training and considering whether to commit their scientific careers to this area. The second group consists of those in industry considering investment in this area of technology and seeking perspectives on future applications and markets. The decisions of both groups are interdependent. Future prospects for scientists in the field depend greatly on the economic prospects for development of successful commercial products which use sol-gel processes and materials to a suf­ ficient extent to support a thriving future research activity. Future prospects for successful new applications of sol-gel technology depend on the availability of skilled researchers able to find solutions to outstanding obstacles to successful commercial applications and to develop innovative new high-performance materials which will in turn create new markets.