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Asia Innovation: How the West will Benefit

Asia Innovation:  How the West will Benefit

The United States has long been the dominant global force for innovation and trade.  That reign is being tested as Asian countries join the race for competitive innovator.  Instead of ignoring the change, the west should welcome the challenge for the exciting benefits it will bring.


China has been efficient in setting up its journey to global innovative powerhouse.  In fact, it’s been a matter of policy for a number of years with the government setting a number of goals for the production of patents.  China also awards the most doctorate degrees in engineering and science, a clear indicator of the effect they have on innovation.  Research and development investments grow by about 18% annually and they are the world’s largest patent filer.  How have they accomplished such unprecedented growth in only a handful of years?  Surprisingly, the key to their success has been cooperation with other countries.


While Asian countries are increasing investments into education and bringing top talent to their countries to solve the world’s top problems, how they deploy those innovations is a challenge.  The United States could begin by offering Asia channels for product marketing – something that the US excels at.  By offering commercialization to Asian businesses and universities, the US will begin to see the benefits of cooperation.  Already, many Asian countries (Japan, South Korea, China, Singapore, and Taiwan) meet regularly to discuss how to coordinate and improve their Intellectual Property policies.


Already, this type of cooperation is occurring.  Intellectual Ventures has become a leader in Asia helping those countries focus on their innovators strengths, talents, and challenges.  This has led to Intellectual Ventures creating a network that extends all across the world to more than 400 institutions and with over 4,000 innovators.  Electronic conglomerate LG has joined the party by offering innovators an 8% stake in the proceeds of any idea they created that’s produced and sold by the company. The West should pay attention to these creative ways to encourage innovation and join in when they can.


Finding unique opportunities for participation with the Asian Innovation boom will ensure that the West isn’t left out of the deal of the century.  By taking a cue from Asia and investing in education, research and development, and innovation the West will find that it’s own position will improve.  The Asian education system is still very focused on memorization while the US produces clever and creative professionals and doesn’t rely heavily on government interference.  The exchange of ideas, people, and products between countries is incredibly important and can only strengthen U.S./Asia relations, while empowering businesses and