Leadbeater geeft analyse van R&D in Azië

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28 maart 2007 | Charles Leadbeater houdt op 4 april de nieuwe HAN-masterclass. Zijn jongste publicatie laat zien waarom hij een van de interessantste denkers over kennis in Europa is. Hij schreef een advies voor Demos over wat wij kunnen leren van de R&D-revoluties in Azië. “China is strong on innovation hardware, but weaker on the software. Quantity does not mean quality: only a small proportion of graduates are educated to international standards. China has fewer international patents than Denmark.

Plagiarism inhibits the collaborative research that is vital to emerging science. India’s future will be subtly subversive. By mastering outsourced innovation it will change big companies from within. South Korea will be a technically adept fast follower: snapping at the leaders’ heels. China could be a different case. If the cosmopolitan elite – multinationals, top universities and returnees – connects with the vast domestic economy then low-cost Chinese innovations could disrupt global industries, for example in energy and communications. China is not content to serve or follow: it intends to challenge the international innovation order. ”

U leest de samenvatting ervan hieronder en het complete onderzoek hier.

Het interview van ScienceGuide met Leadbeater over zijn rol als kennis-adviseur van Tony Blair leest u hier .





Each country will develop differently. In South Korea strong government support

has created a world-class information infrastructure. Korea’s largest firms, led by

Samsung, are investing heavily in R&D with global ambitions. The highly connected

and educated population is open to new technologies. Innovation is central to the

country’s struggle for survival. Yet few Korean universities are world class. Basic

research is weak. State pressure on scientists to deliver can compromise research

quality. Korea is not attractive for high-tech foreign investors. Large companies stifle

new entrants in a business culture that lacks transparency.

China is mobilising massive resources for innovation through ambitious long-term

plans, funded by rapid economic growth. Beijing’s university district produces as

many engineers as all of western Europe. China is developing world-class universities

and attracting multinational innovation centres. The government is cultivating its

high-technology champions. The flow of returnees has only just begun. China is

strong on innovation hardware, but weaker on the software. Quantity does not mean

quality: only a small proportion of graduates are educated to international standards.

China has fewer international patents than Denmark. Plagiarism inhibits the

collaborative research that is vital to emerging science. Technological innovation

can thrive without democracy but it may become biased towards prestigious

state projects.

Compared with China, democracy is one of India’s strengths, ensuring the freedom

to think, debate and innovate. But India’s greatest asset is its young, growing and

increasingly well-educated population. Software and pharmaceuticals provide hightech

role models. India’s elite, trained at the Indian Institutes of Technology, are

second to none. New institutions like the National Science and Engineering Foundation

could energise a disjointed innovation system. Yet India’s innovation elite may face

a rural backlash. Its infrastructure is in poor repair and cities like Bengalooru are

congested. Even the much-vaunted IITs do not, unlike their US counterparts, animate

innovation clusters. India excels at servicing and copying technology developed

elsewhere, rather than creating it.

India’s future will be subtly subversive. By mastering outsourced innovation it will

change big companies from within. South Korea will be a technically adept fast

follower: snapping at the leaders’ heels. China could be a different case. If the

cosmopolitan elite – multinationals, top universities and returnees – connects with

the vast domestic economy then low-cost Chinese innovations could disrupt global

industries, for example in energy and communications. China is not content to

serve or follow: it intends to challenge the international innovation order.

Britain will compete with the scale of low-cost Asian innovation only by using its

resources more creatively. That means choosing which areas to specialise in,

funding emerging, cross-disciplinary sciences and linking them more intimately

to business applications. The City of London should be Britain’s model for science:

cosmopolitan, skilled and efficient; open to new entrants, products and

technologies; supported by independent, trusted but innovation-friendly regulators.

Britain must evangelise for cosmopolitan innovation and make itself central

to global innovation networks. Our recommendations include:

— creating a £100 million global R&D collaboration fund to take British capacity

for international collaboration to a new level

— launching a Darwin Scholarships programme to bring 200 Asian scientists

a year to the UK

— funding global innovation challenges and public knowledge banks, modelled

on the Human Genome project, to provide an open and shared base for

global innovation.




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