Posting in Education
International survey released by AstraZeneca: Chinese and Indian citizens optimistic about their nations' innovation potential; US and European residents gloomy.
Two new studies confirm a growing tilt toward China in terms of potential leadership in innovation, as well as attaining the educational edge can catapult the country to a leadership position.
In an international survey of 6,000 respondents across six countries released by AstraZeneca, China is perceived as likely to be the most inventive by 2020, followed by India. The US and Japan will be relegated from first and second place to third and fourth respectively.
There also is a lot more optimism among people living in China and India about the ability of their nations to prosper through innovation – in stark contrast to the gloomier views of those in developed Western economies.
The US still retains the role as the world’s most innovative country, according to the survey, with 30% of people taking that view. Japan follows at 25% and China at 14%. The UK is rated the most innovative by only 3% of people. The US is also regarded as the country that provides the greatest amount of support for innovative individuals and businesses by respondents in all six countries surveyed.
However, when asked which country will be the most innovative a decade from now, China, which is also forecast to overtake the US as the world’s largest economy by 2020, comes top with 27%, followed by India with 17% and the US with 14%. Japan is in fourth place with 12%.
If this survey weren't enough, a report from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development shows the US is falling far behind in educational standards, now ranking 25th in math, 17th in science, and 14th in reading out of the 34 OECD countries. The leading locations included Shanghai, China, which ranked first in all three categories. Hong Kong came in second in reading and science and third in math.
The AstraZeneca survey confirms there is a strong sense of self-confidence among Chinese and Indian citizens about their potential to invent and improve their scientific and technological standing. More than half thought their home countries would be the most innovative in the world by 2020 (57% and 56% respectively). Only 28% of Americans shared this view about their own country's innovative spirit.
These findings were also reflected in people’s views about how absolute levels of innovation have changed. A majority of those living in the US, Japan and Britain agree that their countries are not as innovative as they used to be. By contrast, more people in China disagreed with this statement than agreed.
Asked about specific innovations over the past century, the Internet, computers and electricity were generally seen as the most important. However, people in the US, Britain and Sweden also placed equal importance on the invention of vaccines and antibiotics. The creation of the Internet was also viewed as the innovation that has had the greatest impact (29%). This was a view held much more strongly in China and Japan (42% and 43% respectively) than in Britain, the US and Sweden.
The IT and telecoms sectors were universally seen as the most innovative followed by the pharmaceutical and automotive industries.
Remember, in the case of the AstraZeneca survey, these are people's perceptions, which can change dramatically from decade to decade. But still, optimism and education is perhaps the most powerful combination on earth for advancing societies.
One more thing: it's interesting to note that there are historical parallels for the relative gloom seen in the US about competitiveness. In the 1970s and early 1980s, many US observers feared Japan was taking the lead in innovation. However, it was the US that lead the personal computing and Internet revolutions that followed. And it was in the 1950s that many in the US were convinced that the Soviet Union had the edge in space technology. Perhaps these periods of self-doubt got our national adrenaline going.
Dec 7, 2010
Innovation by itself can only take you so far. Innovation can go a lot further with the incentive or reward system. If innovation had been it's own reward, then we would've advanced into the modern world thousands of years ago, and right about now, we would've had satellites or probes around other stars, and we might have figure out the cures to most diseases, and we likely woud've figured out how to live into the hundreds of years by now. The proof is in everyday life. Which countries, in history, have been the standard setters when it comes to scientific or other types of progress? Was it the countries where innovation was rewarded, or the countries where innovation simply got the recognition of government or even of the people? Hey, it's nice to be recognized for being "innovative", but a rewards for the innovations will encourage people to be a lot more innovative. You, again, are being very short-sighted.
Adornoe, You have the heart of a bean counter. For the truly innovative the innovation is its own reward.
Our Institution since 1992 has been telling the world about the dire threat of China - http://thewif.org.uk (newsletters). The reason for this is that economic wars (and Innovation is the catalyst) are far more deadly than conventional wars, for they go on in perpetuity. For one of our members Jian Song, the vice-premier of China for 13 years developed the 'blueprint' that china embarked upon 20 years ago. This same blueprint dictated that to take the high ground China had to become the most innovative nation in the world. Now with US$2 trillion plus of reserves and counting (its exports in November increased by 35%), China's strategy will get there. Not pie-in-the-sky, but sheer common sense now. Considering the above it is about time that totally 'independent' bodies with no vested interests were listened too. In this respect we have also been telling western governments that the only way to defeat China is to develop the ORE STEM Complex, because only something this huge with stop China making most countries subservient to them. A strategy supported by our late President Nobel laureate Glenn T. Seaborg (Element 106 Seaborgium). Dr David Hill World Innovation Foundation Charity Bern, Switzerland
"Remember, in the case of the AstraZeneca survey, these are people?s perceptions, which can change dramatically from decade to decade." The perception was also rampant in the 1970s/80s that Japan Inc. was a much more powerful innovation machine than the US. But there were underlying forces of innovation in the US many authors, experts and policymakers never saw coming. Who foresaw the World Wide Web even as late as 1992? Perhaps fear (real or not) of Japan Inc. catalyzed many here to change and adapt.
Despite citing real numbers from the report of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, your article is based on opinion polls. But what opinion polls are if not a reflection of collective impact of content that corporate media feed all of us? So are you trying to tell us what corporatists want us to believe? Or maybe you think that if we collectively believe in some sort of future, our belief will force the future to be shaped that particular way and that's why your article is relevant? GIGO. You're babbling in a style of "Our future has 13 functions versus only 9 functions of their future, therefore our future assures 83% better consumer satisfaction". Please don't preach nonsense
Despite citing real numbers from the report of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, your article is based on opinion polls. But what opinion polls are if not a reflection of collective impact of content that corporate media feed all of us? So are you trying to tell us what corporatists want us to believe? Or maybe you think that if we collectively believe in some sort of future, our belief will force the future to be shaped that particular way and that's why your article is relevant? GIGO. You're babbling in a style of "our future has 13 functions versus only 9 functions of their future, therefore our future assures 83% better consumer satisfaction". Please be serious and don't preach us nonsense
because everything you stated is the exact opposite of reality. Your world must be upside-down and inside-out. If you like what China stands for and you think that government is where "vision" for the future should come from, then you rightfully should be living there. If you think that India is going to, anytime soon, get out of the deep poverty with government control or oversight, then perhaps you need to be there before the country magically transforms itself into the future of mankind. BTW, in the U.S. congress and the president are supposed to work to facilitate the growth of the economy, which is where the wealth of a country comes from. I'll bet you are convinced that wealth comes from government and not from the private sector. But, even your view of congress is upside down. The current congress has been anti-business and pro-government control of everything. Where you born yesterday or are you Rip-Van-Winkle who just woke up from a long sleep?
Both China and India have governments that provide leadership and a strong national vision for the future. In contrast, the US has a weak central government that is run by representatives of industry (i.e. Congressmen and Senators) for the benefit of private industries in order to maximize their profits. There is no sense of civic responsibility in the US corporate sector. NONE. The 'good of the country' means zero to the US business sector.
the fact that, it's personal rewards that drive individuals to perform at their maximum. Government aided R&D and government funded education are OK, but they don't get you into the realm of the big free-market/capitalism driven super-economies where incentives and rewards are the mechanisms which bring a country to the top, like what the U.S. used to be (though it's still the biggest). What China is doing now is not much different from what the old USSR did, and that didn't work out too well, did it?
The problem with contemporary capitalism is that capital tends to flow toward corporations that generate short term profits. Expensive investments in training & in R&D is not rewarded by institutional investors in the absence of those short term profits. The government part of the Chinese mixed command & market economy pushes capital toward education and R&D that may not be profitable in the short run but has been identified as important in the long run. Past performance is not a guarantee of future returns - either in investments or in ideology.
that drives innovation... That's the reward system. But still, optimism and education is perhaps the most powerful combination on earth for advancing societies. No matter how much education and no matter how much optimism there might be in a society, if the rewards are not there, then innovation will be very limited. Remember the old Soviet Union, where education and culture were highly stressed and where scientists were chosen from early ages to bring their country into the modern age and to perhaps even supersede the U.S. in all scientific and technological matters. Those people worked for the system and for the government, and the incentives weren't there for those people to try harder. While the education system in the U.S. might be lagging behind a bunch of other countries, the incentives and rewards are what can keep us in the lead for a very long time. China is still a "controlled" economy, with major decisions being made by the communist party leadership, and any scientific research and all technological development must be approved by the government. No thanks, I'll take our American system over any other any day. In a "true" free-market/capitalist system, the reward system is vastly superior to any other anywhere. Optimism doesn't produce anything by itself, and education just opens the door to any field that a person might be interested in. Innovation doesn't come from optimism or from education, although they're needed elements. A reward system is a bigger and better driver for innovation.
The difference between the 50s, 70s, and 80s that you reference and now is that during those periods there was still a net influx of the brightest talent from around the world to this country. Today that is no longer the case and in many cases some of those that came are going back to their country of origin. This does not bode well for the United States when it comes to keeping up with innovation around the world.
They are however hopeless at developing and exploiting their inventions. This change happened when the polymaths of the industrial revolution were replaced by the money men and lawyers. The innovators had to go abroad to get support for their ideas. This was referred to as the Brain Drain. Now the industries which were started in Britain are being taken over by foreigners from countries where investment in technical development was much higher. Thus the wealth produced by industry in UK goes to investors abroad.