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Asia: Tomorrow’s Driver of Global Innovation

Asia:  Tomorrow’s Driver of Global Innovation


Globalization has affected the way technology is produced: high quality products are now made at the lowest cost possible instead of the other way around.  Made in China is becoming synonymous with luxury items and goods instead of poorly made or inferior.  With globalization, the Asian Century – a time when Asia is the dominant economy and culture, is swift approaching.  Evidence shows that at its current rate of growth, Asia is poised to become the world’s leading economy in the next twenty five years.  With this change, how can we expect technology to change?


Technology in Asia Then and Now


From Asia’s iconic Silk Road to its history of producing luxury products, it has long been a haven for new technology and products.  Silk, paper, and even hydraulics were originated from China and introduced to the world, changing it forever.  Even now Asia dominates the market when it comes to Research and Development spending and Information Technology investments.  China is the number one country in the world for patents filed and there are expectations that it will take over as the leader for science spending by 2020, surpassing the United States.


As the century becomes one where Asia dominates, many wonder what the future of its producible technology will look like.  All indications seem to point to Information Technology as a crucial outcome as Asia takes its dominant place in the Technology world.  Singapore is the top Asian country when it comes to businesses converting to cloud technology.  In a recent poll Singapore was deemed second in Asia in regards to its likelihood to adapt to new and innovating technologies.


The recent disaster in Japan – the tsunami of 2011 – also points to an essential need for technology to be introduced to poor and rural areas.  As access is limited in these areas; search, rescue, and recovery can be impeded in the first few hours after a major disaster or accident.  Indonesia, with the help of Japan, recently introduced its own early warning system for earthquakes and tsunami’s.  Mobile technology will continue to play a huge role in mitigating the risk of disasters and assisting in recovery efforts.  Expect to see an increase in the number of mobile users in Asia as access increases and technology becomes more affordable.


As Asia continues to experience a population explosion, investments into green technology and smart cities will increase.  Finding renewable, reliable, and affordable sources for energy will become a top priority.  Already China spends twice as much as the United States in research and development of renewable energy projects.  With a demand on energy increasing to 76% by 2020, it should come as no surprise that Asia seeks to avoid an energy crisis.  Asia’s massive population has real world implications when it comes to greenhouse gases and global warming:  China is the world’s current top producer of greenhouse gases.  In rural areas, many light and heat their homes by the use of coal.  Future technologies will ensure that greenhouse gases are reduced and more affordable energy is given to rural areas.


As the Asian Century approaches we will see a shift in technology and culture that will impact the entire world.  Asia will continue to be a leader in innovation and technology, lighting the way for other countries to follow its lead.