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Global Innovation Hotspots – Where will they contribute?

Posted by evolvingwheel on January 18, 2007

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A new research has identified India, China, S. Korea, and others as global innovation hot-spots for the years to come. The numbers given in the graphics below (courtesy Businessweek) have both long-term and short-term implications. These centers will inevitably attract investments from within and beyond their borders. However FDIs (foreign direct investments) will mainly promote further developments, inventions, and resource engagements in these regions. Now my question is will these hot-spots benefit science & technology of their parent countries to a large extent or channel new developments mostly to the investing companies and their origin countries?

Over the last few decades S. Korea has emerged as a technology powerhouse. It has appeared that the major brand names that have powered the innovations and technological developments in that country are primarily native to that region. Even though FDIs were channelled from outside over time, the R&D was concentric to the national goals and objectives to enhance the infrastructure and general lifestyle of the citizens of S. Korea.

The landscapes in India & China are different. The support to new developments have mainly originated from outside of these countries. Its worth watching how these two governments direct policies and promote growth while balancing foreign investments. The social and economic developments of these regions are intricately tied up with the future growth in the science & technology sector. We will see how many patents arise from native companies compared to ones from foreign companies.

One interesting highlight of the research is the growth areas in the countries mentioned in the picture. Both Israel and Russia have core developments in optical sensors and aerospace which make up a big proportion of investments in defense. While India and China contribute more towards technology services with Taiwan and Singapore concentrating on hardware. I feel that the trend in Taiwan/Singapore are reflection of the FDIs over the last few decades from US companies like HP, Intel, and other giants.

Drugs appear to be a somewhat unique among all the sectors. SunPharma, Reddys, Ranbaxy, etc. are some of the powerhouses aggressively pursuing new patents. This could be a totally new area of development in India over the next 10 years.

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