According to the the project, as globalisation moves up a gear, ideas are emerging in unexpected places carried by new mobile knowledge workers from around the World, breaking common “clichés” such as the one believing that new scientific ideas would come from the top universities and research laboratories of large companies based in Europe and the US. The Atlas of Ideas reveals that the shift is particularly visible in countries such as China, India and South Korea, which are fast becoming world-class centres for research, particularly in emerging fields such as stem cell biology and nanotechnology.
From the project summary: “Since 1999, China’s spending on R&D has increased by more than 20 per cent each year, India now produces 260,000 engineers a year and its number of engineering colleges is due to double to 1,000 by 2010. According to Thomson ISI, Asia’s share of the world’s scientific papers rose from 16 per cent in 1990 to 25 per cent in 2004. At the same time, there is a growing flow of multinational R&D to the new knowledge centres of Shanghai, Beijing, Hyderabad and Bangalore.”