China to overtake US on innovation leadership
By Emily Chia | 2009-12-15
An intel-newsweek study released in November found that 63% of Chinese respondents believe that China will overtake the United States on technology innovation over the next 30 years.
The online survey was conducted between September 28 and October 13 this year in China, Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States. Survey participants included 4800 adults, ages 18 and older, across four countries. Interviews were conducted with both the general population and business executives.
Chinese, survey results showed, are most enthusiastic about technological innovation and about its impact on their own lives and on the future of their local and national economies--91% say technological innovation has significantly improved their quality of life; and 93% pointed out that technological innovation has had a positive impact on China's economy.
The study pointed out differences in how nations view and define innovation. Chinese, for example, emphasizes on productivity, efficiency and creative problem solving. On the other hand, Americans and Europeans tend to think of innovation in technical terms and the emphasis is on math and science. They view tech products as fruits of innovation.
According to the study, 78% of Americans believe that technological innovation is more important than ever in driving U.S. economic success. However, 61% of Americans believe that the downturn has hurt the U.S.'s ability to innovate. Only 33% say the U.S. will be the global leader in tech innovation during the next 30 years.
Europeans, in contrast, largely believe that technology innovation has improved quality of life and the economy, yet only 14% predict they will lead in this area in the future.
Although a global majority said that the economic downturn has hurt the United States' ability to innovate, the prevailing view across every nation polled was technology innovation is critical to America's future economic success. In the United States, almost half of Americans said the recession has resulted in an increased reliance on technology innovation.
"Now more than ever, it is critical for us as a nation to recognize how critical innovation is to spurring sustained U.S. economic growth," said Dr. Robert D. Atkinson, president of the Information Technology & Innovation Foundation, a Washington, D.C.-based think-tank.
"In the aftermath of the largest economic crisis since the Great Depression, we are collectively looking for solutions to propel our nation forward. The answer rests with technology and how collectively-business and government-can join together to bring about an innovation nation."