[Paleopsych] Demos: Atlas of Ideas

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Atlas of Ideas

    Third Floor, Magdalen House; 136 Tooley Street, London SE1 2TU; Tel:
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    China, India and the new geography of science

    Across the world of science, the boundaries are being redrawn. A new
    political emphasis is being placed on science and innovation by
    countries such as China, India, and South Korea. At the same time, a
    gradual process of `offshore innovation' is underway, as higher-value
    R&D begins to flow overseas. Confronted by these trends, Britain has a
    choice. It can either retreat into a scientific version of
    protectionism. Or it can embrace the new opportunities for networking
    and collaboration that such transformations create. This two-year
    project, to be carried out in partnership with the Foreign Office and
    others, will provide a compelling framework for understanding the new
    geography of science.

    The project has five central aims:
     1. To map emerging trends and patterns in the globalisation of
        science, with a primary focus on three countries: China, India and
        South Korea;
     2. To forecast how such trends might evolve over the next 10-15
     3. To identify new models of networking and collaboration between
        scientists, policymakers and companies in China, India, South
        Korea and the UK;
     4. To analyse the implications of these trends for science policy and
        investment in the UK and Europe;
     5. To  produce an agenda-setting publication which sparks widespread
        policy and media debate.

    This project is being carried out in partnership with:
      * The Foreign and Commonwealth Office
      * The British Council
      * Scottish Enterprise
      * The Medical Research Council
      * The Institution of Electrical Engineers
      * South East of England Development Agency
      * Universities UK
      * Microsoft Resarch
      * Vodafone

    Research themes

    Research themes and questions will include:

    1. Knowledge mapping and forecasting

    How effectively can we map and predict global trends in R&D and
    innovation? What patterns can be detected by nation, by region and by
    sector? How are China, India and South Korea faring in key areas of
    biotech, ICT, nanotech and climate science? How rapidly are Indian and
    Chinese companies moving up the R&D value chain? How strong and
    sustainable is their science base? To what extent are R&D activities
    starting to spread beyond the hi-tech clusters around Beijing, Delhi,
    Bangalore and Shanghai? How will all of these trends change over the
    next decade and beyond?

    2. Networks, competition and collaboration

    How can the UK position itself to take advantage of these
    developments? What new forms of networking and capacity-building are
    required? How strong are the UK's links across the Chinese, Indian and
    Korean R&D communities, when compared to other OECD countries? What
    are dominant attitudes of Chinese and Indian scientists and business
    leaders towards the UK? Can funding structures (e.g. research
    councils, EU Framework programmes) be adapted to maximise the
    potential for collaboration?

    3. Science and sustainable development

    The rapid development of particular cities in China and India should
    not obscure the fact that there are still chronic levels of poverty
    and underdevelopment across vast regions. To what extent can science
    and innovation contribute to poverty alleviation, sustainable
    development and good governance in China and India? What role can the
    UK play in catalysing science-based partnerships to tackle poverty,
    climate change and other social and environmental problems? What
    alternative energy and environmental technologies are being developed?
    Will these enable China and India to `leapfrog' straight to a cleaner,
    more sustainable model of economic development?

    4.  New metrics and indicators

    There is a widespread sense that the traditional metrics and
    indicators used in these debates are failing to capture some key
    dimensions of change. What new metrics could we develop? How do we
    design metrics that are appropriate and usable in the context of
    rapidly developing economies (like China and India), but which also
    provide UK policymakers with the reliable evidence base they need? And
    how do we measure the effectiveness - or otherwise - of networks and
    collaboration between UK actors and those in other countries? Building
    on earlier Demos work on innovation systems and network analysis, we
    will suggest new metrics that could be adopted.

    5. Talent attraction and knowledge diasporas

    As the science and research base improves in China, India and South
    Korea, will we see an intensifying `war for talent' in science and
    technology? How will the UK fare? Will fewer students travel to the UK
    and Europe to study and work? Already there are signs that growing
    numbers of the Chinese, Indian and Korean `scientific diaspora' are
    returning home, encouraged by improved working conditions and other
    incentives. Will this trend gather pace? And will China, India and
    Korea follow the example of Singapore in directly recruiting US and
    European scientists to boost their national science capabilities?

    6. Innovation, precaution and public engagement

    How will potential tensions between innovation and precaution affect
    the global distribution of research and commercialisation? What is the
    relationship between innovation and democracy? To what extent can
    arguments about open and plural systems of innovation - often seen as
    critical to the success of countries like Finland and Sweden - be
    applied to countries like China? Will higher ethical, environmental
    and regulatory standards in Europe strengthen its scientific and
    economic dominance? Or will looser regulation and a less-sensitive
    public allow China and India to move ahead more quickly? How can the
    UK encourage higher ethical standards in emerging markets?

    We will be holding a launch event for the project on 12 October, 2005.

    For questions, comments or more information on this project, email
    Molly Webb: [41]molly.webb at demos.co.uk

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