The think tank Demos will today launch an 18-month, Government- backed study of science and innovation in China, India and South Korea. The Atlas of Ideas project has been commissioned by the Foreign Office and a consortium of companies and public agencies.
The project has been welcomed by the Foreign Secretary, the Rt Hon Jack Straw MP.
"At the heart of Britain's approach to science and innovation lies a spirit of international collaboration," says Jack Straw. "Our ability to work with emerging scientific nations such as China, India andSouth Korea will be vital to securing Britain's long-term prosperity. I am pleased to offer my support to The Atlas of Ideas project. This important and timely study will improve our understanding of scientific and technological change in Asia, and help policy-makers and the private sector to respond creatively."
Speakers at the project's launch will include Ed Balls MP, former Chief Economic Adviser to the Treasury. Speaking ahead of the launch, Ed Balls warned against 'scientific protectionism', and called for greater collaboration with scientists in Asia.
"We know that science and innovation will be crucial to the UK's future prosperity, and that China and India are reshaping the terms of global competitiveness," says Ed Balls. "But our response to China and
India's rise must be based on a firm understanding of what this transformation involves, rather than ill-founded fears and speculation. More innovation in Asia does not mean less innovation in Europe. A retreat into scientific protectionism is simply not an option."
"The UK has already begun to invest more heavily in science and innovation," continues Ed Balls. "Since 1997, the science budget has more than doubled, and the Government has set out a ten-year framework
for further investment. To take advantage of the new geography of science, we now need to develop a constructive agenda of collaboration with the emerging science powers of Asia. We need to identify the next set of grand challenges in science, with the scale and ambition of the Human Genome Project, and create opportunities for the best British scientists to collaborate more closely with their counterparts in
China, India and elsewhere. I welcome the 'Atlas of Ideas' project as an important contribution to these debates."
Demos will gather data and interview policy makers, scientists and business leaders in China, India and South Korea, in order to identify emerging trends in 'the new geography of science'. Led by Charles
Leadbeater, Demos Associate, and James Wilsdon, Head of Science and Innovation, the study will recommend reforms to UK science policy and investment designed to address the challenges of globalization.
The study will also examine how the UK can strengthen collaboration between British and Asian scientists. Possible measures include encouraging more Asian scientists to study and work in the UK,
promoting the teaching of Mandarin Chinese in schools and as part of science degrees, and establishing new collaborative research centres in China and India.
The Atlas of Ideas project will be launched at the Institution of Electrical Engineers on Wednesday 12th October 2005. Charles Leadbeater and James Wilsdon of Demos will be joined by a panel of speakers including: Lord Sainsbury, Minister for Science and Innovation; Ed Balls, MP for Normanton and former Chief Economic Adviser to HM Treasury; Lord Broers, President of the Royal Academy of Engineering and 2005 Reith Lecturer; Kamalesh Sharma, High Commissioner for India in the UK; and Sheila Jasanoff, Pforzheimer Professor of Science and Technology Studies at Harvard University.
- The Atlas of Ideas: China, India and the new geography of science is an 18-month project, which will examine emerging trends and patterns in the globalisation of science, with a focus on China, India and South Korea. For more information, visit www.demos.co.uk//projects/atlasofideas/blog where you can also download a project summary.
- The Atlas of Ideas project will be launched on Wednesday 12th October 2005, 9am – 1pm. The launch event will take place at the Institution of Electrical Engineers, Savoy Place, London, WC2R OBL. Please register for the event by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
- Demos is the think-tank for everyday democracy. The Atlas of Ideas is part of Demos' research programme on science and innovation.
- The Atlas of Ideas is supported by a consortium of partners: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office, British Council, Scottish Enterprise, Medical Research Council, Microsoft, Vodafone, Institution of Electrical Engineers, South East of England Development Agency (SEEDA), East of England Development Agency (EEDA), Universities UK, Irish Management Institute, Forfas, and Claydon Gescher Associates (CGA).