Asia will be first choice for scientific knowledge

22 January 2007
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22 January 2007 | Antony Barton

Scientific expertise will increasingly come from China, India and South Korea unless Britain boosts its collaborative research with these countries, according to new reports.

The Atlas of Ideas, produced after an 18-month study by think tank Demos, claimed Britain would be sidelined within 10 years unless it recognised innovation in Asia, chose an area of specialisation and placed itself at the centre of a knowledge network.

The reports were launched at an international conference on science, innovation and globalisation, held in London last week. Three reports focused on scientific innovation in China, India and South Korea while a fourth described how Britain should respond.

The Atlas of Ideas suggested the creation of a £100 million global research and development fund to increase British capacity for international collaboration; a Darwin Scholarships programme to bring 200 Asian scientists a year to the UK; and the creation of public knowledge banks to provide an open and shared base for innovation.

James Wilsdon, co-author of the reports, said: "China is the world's fastest growing economy. The US is the home of high-tech and Hollywood. What's our one-line pitch to the world? We think Britain should promote itself as a cosmopolitan centre: open and willing to support the best ideas and the most innovative talent from across the world."

The reports are free to download from the Demos website.


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