The Asia Business Council, in a recent briefing, showed Asia
as the emerging center of innovation. The number of patent applications
and scientific papers generated by Asian countries, such as
China, India, Japan, Korea, Singapore and Taiwan, continues
to grow. Taken together, these countries account for the largest
global share of patents in electrical engineering.
Particularly promising industries in Asia include electronics
and information technologies, pharmaceuticals and health biotechnology;
environmental technologies; and nanotechnology. China is concentrating
on food chemistry, digital communications, and environmental
and agricultural technologies. Japan is targeting environmental
technologies as well as optics. India is carving its niche in
pharmaceuticals, biotechnology and medical instruments, while
Singapore’s patents focus on ICT and nanotechnology. Korea
and Taiwan are focusing on digital consumer products, and on
computer sciences and electronic engineering, respectively.
These industries spring from the four sciences that futurist
Dr. James Canton predicts will be the wealth-creating pillars
of a new global economy: nanotechnology, information technology,
neurotechnology and biotechnology (“nano-IT-bio-neuro”).
We took this emerging trend into consideration when the Congressional
Commission on Science and Technology (Comste), which I chair,
constituted its technical panels two years ago. Comste’s
panels reflect its priorities: energy and environment; IT and
IT-enabled industries; electronics and semiconductor industries;
health sciences; agriculture and food; and science, mathematics
and engineering education.
Since its constitution, Comste has been reviewing the state
of S&T and engineering education in the country, and has
advocated and pushed for policies that encourage competitiveness
in key industries.
The lessons from Typhoon Pepeng and Ondoy gave valuable lessons
on disaster preparedness, hence Comste is prioritizing disaster-prevention
and -mitigation programs, including weather forecasting.
And as the 15th Congress begins, Comste will concentrate on
leapfrogging strategies to help catapult the Philippines among
the innovative countries in Asia.
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org . Web site: www.edangara.com.