Innovation

2014: The year in Middle East science

Despite it being a year of unrest in the region, investment in science in the Middle East has paid off in 2014. The Middle East and North Africa are accustomed to conflict, but even by usual standards, 2014 was a turbulent year across most of the region. While unrest made most of the headlines, there were many positive science stories that received little fanfare.

Japanese universities reach for global status

Look at any global ranking of universities worldwide and Japan’s ‘big-name’ universities will feature in the top 100. University of Tokyo, for example, ranks well within the top 50 universities in the world for science and technology and sits at number nine among universities in Asia for overall performance in the QS rankings.

Tackling Indonesia’s innovation challenge

Since Jokowi’s inauguration, some interesting articles have appeared covering policy challenges such as research and development, health and education. Nick Redfern and Richard Litman discusses Indonesia’s innovation opportunity. They say that Jokowi can make a lasting impact on the country if he challenges the people of Indonesia to become leaders in technology innovation. This will require developing a National Innovation & IP Strategy, focusing on capacity building and investing in research and development.

Is Indonesia’s soaring education budget delivering?

Indonesia’s political leadership understands the importance of quality education. Legislation requires central and regional governments allocate at least a fifth of their annual budget to the education sector. This year the government allocated Rp 368.9 trillion and plans to spend another Rp 404 trillion in 2015. Hasyim Widhiarto asks if the significant investment has helped improve the country’s performance.

What Asia can learn from German innovation

There are three stages in the innovation cycle: invention, commercialisation and diffusion. Germany, writes Shiwen Yap in theindependent.sg, excels in diffusion and countries in Asia could learn from Germany’s approach to refining old concepts with fresh ideas and spreading them across the business sector.

Monash Latin America strategy recognised at business awards

Monash University has been recognised at the 2014 Australian Latin American Business Council business excellence awards in Brisbane this week. The Council singled out Monash for the depth and breadth of its extensive connections in the Latin America. The council also recognised Monash for the clear and innovative approaches it is taking in cultivating long-term and strategic relations in the region.

China as a leading global innovator?

Assembled in China but designed in California, Japan, or Europe. That’s been the story of China’s economic rise for the past 30 years. Few if any of China’s companies are considered innovative by global standards – and Nobel prizes for science remain frustratingly elusive. But China wants to be more than the factory of the world and its government knows it has to move on from a “beg, borrow or steal” strategy on innovation if it is to keep growing its economy. Will it be able to do this?

Asia’s invention boom

For more than a century, the United States has been the dominant global force for innovation. But China and other Asian countries are now testing that dominance, and the West should welcome the challenge, argues Edward Jung, former chief architect at Microsoft.

Defence, science and technology to lead in US-India relations

The Indian Economic Times reports the spectacular success of the incredibly frugal Mars Orbiter Mission that put India straight into an elite club and opened up an array of business opportunities has created the right atmospherics for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the US during which he would engage with the civil society, policy makers and the business community. And in almost all of these, one subject that would be the talking point would be technology.

Thai Science, Technology and Innovation

Thailand’s Deputy Prime Minister Yongyuth Yuthavong considers the country has the potential to become a leader in the South East Asia’s science, technology and innovation. Science and technology is a key to helping Thailand escape from the middle-income trap by 2030. The Deputy Prime Minister argues what is needed is increased investment in education and a change in mindset not only in Thailand, but the Asean region.