February 14, 2011
Not until the EU starts trying not to copy and think ‘out of the box’ will the innovation might of the EU be released. All that we predominantly do in the EU is copy, as the article underscores. That was fine for the Japanese and the Chinese when they were beginning their economic cycles, but the EU are trying to do it the other way around. The problem is that this revisiting of history in the way that has been expressed can only end up in sheer disaster.
Real innovation is thinking up something new, and the EU apparently has forgotten this. Therefore copying is not the answer and we in the EU have to look at the fundamentals far more closely. Indeed, [ we need to] think how can we excel in the world of tomorrow and [we need to think about] where [we shall] find this illusive quality that makes nations great. All I can tell our EU mandarins is to research what the history of science and technology tells us and where the seeds of economic dynamism come from.
If they did this fundamental research they would find that their thinking was flawed and the reason why the Far East will dominate the economic markets of the 21st century. We really do have to get out of this rut of thinking that by copying other nations’ so-called ‘best practice’ that we can excel also.
For if we do not, we take the consequences head on and where we shall certainly not be the winners in this economic war of nations. Indeed, a leading economist stated that in 1952 the West commanded over 90% of world trade. Today we command 50% and in another 50 years’ time we shall command no more than 30% on our present path and thinking.
Considering this, we have to start to fight back for our own long-term good. The first port of call is the history of science and technology: that should be the basis of the EU’s fundamental strategy here.
Dr David Hill
World Innovation Foundation Charity (WIFC)