Today I am considering the topic of innovation on a global scale. Looking to the future, what countries do you think will play the largest role in research, discovery and science. Pundits have placed bets on China and India; however, I am looking to South Africa.
South Africa, with a population of over 44 Million, is becoming not only an up and coming fashion capital and tourist destination, but is also at the center of global innovation. They have large, academically rigorous universities. A government with a strong focus on science and technology, and are making headway in the fight against AIDS.
Where science education is concerned, South African universities are pioneers. One of the larger universities in the country, University of Capetown boasts an extensive research and innovation department. The school also features 18 A-rated scientists, as judged by the National Research Foundation.
South Africa also has the National Advisory Council on Innovation, a body working to bring citizens together through research and discovery. The board is appointed by the Minister of Science and Technology and advises him on matters of innovation. The mere fact that South Africa has a minister of Science and Technology is case and point that they are on their way to being a beacon of innovation on a global scale.
According to their Web site, (http://www.naci.org.za/about/whatis.html), NACI is striving to effect change through research because “A well-managed and properly functioning national system of innovation will make it possible for all South Africans to enjoy the economic, socio-political and intellectual benefits of science and technology.”
Also, as South Africa and the rest of the world battle the AIDS epidemic, money, time and researchers are looking to the people of the nation to lead the charge. I believe technological advancement will occur as a result of medical breakthroughs and discoveries in the region.
What other countries do you see making leaps and bounds in innovation internationally? In the next five years? 20 years? 50 years?