The World Economic Forum has opened an office in San Francisco to guide public policy and regulation surrounding tech such as artificial intelligence, drones, digital currencies and the Internet of Things.

The ‘Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution’ aims to link businesses, investors, regulators, policy-makers, international organisations and academia.

“Given the accelerating change brought on by innovation, continuous public-private cooperation on a global level is needed more than ever,” said Forum founder and executive chairman Klaus Schwab.

“This is the purpose of our Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution in San Francisco.

“[It] will serve as a global platform for dialogue and collaborative action on the most important questions related to the impact of emerging technologies.”

It will have 10 projects underway by the end of the year – with 50-60 people working on them – overseen by former Silicon Valley entrepreneur Murat Sonmez.

It will also look at robotics, precision medicine, autonomous vehicles, 3D printing, the blockchain and use of personal data in ‘big data’ analytics.

“We’re pivoting toward more impact-oriented to work,” Sonmez, formerly of Silicon Valley software firm Tibco, said of the need to avoid being merely seen as a think-tank.

Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff said: “The San Francisco Bay Area is the centre of technology innovation, with an amazing community of entrepreneurs, business leaders and thought leaders who are paving a way forward.

“The Center for the Fourth Industrial Revolution can serve as an essential platform where some of the brightest minds can help understand the trends shaping our world and navigate the future.”