Technonationalism to Technoglobalism

mammettiredΜηχανική

18 Νοε 2013 (πριν από 3 χρόνια και 11 μήνες)

92 εμφανίσεις


1

Technonationalism to Technoglobalism


By


Dr. R.A. Mashelkar

President, Global Research Alliance

National Chemical Laboratory

Pune 411 008


About an year ago, I received a phone call from
a young, prominent member of
Congress party.
He said that he wanted

to
know my views on
the
Indo
-
American
nuclear dea
l.


I responded by saying that I
was
not a technical expert in this
area
. Y
et I would attempt to give my own perspective, which will go beyond
nuclear energy.


I
said
that in 1947
,

India got its first

freedom


the political freedom. In 1991
,

India

got its second freedom, when it opened up its economy


the freedom to
compete. I

said if we
sign
this
nuclear
deal,
then we will be ushering the third

freedom



the
technology freedom.


I said that t
his

third freedom will enable us an access to

dual use technology
”.

Such technology
is

primarily
developed for

military or strategic purposes but
find
s

use
also
in

civilian
applications.
India was
denied such access all the while.

I
cited

as

an example th
e development of the
1
4

seater civilian air
craft called
SARAS by National Aerospace Laboratories
(NAL)
.



W
hen I was the Director General of
Council of Sc
ientific & Industrial Research
,
the SARAS project was launched. The aircraft

SARAS had
around
15,00
0
components. One of them was
a ‘
starter generator

. Access to this
single
component was denied to us and the SARAS project
was delayed
by
almost two

2

years! This meant a delay in
India’s
entry
into civilian

aircraft industry by two
years!


I further
exp
lained
that life was like a journey by consecutive buses towards a
destination. You miss the first bus and then you miss the second. India
has
been a
story of missed buses

due to lack of access to critical technologies
.
Other smart countries did not mis
s these

buses
. Taiwan or Korea
, for instance,
represent classical examples. Access to

technology and Foreign Direct
Investment took them way ahead of India.


The young politician
asked me
a
very perceptive
question.
He said t
his lack of
access must have

meant
an
impact
in socio
-
economic and strategic positioning
for
India over the years
. Ha
d

any one evaluated this
so far
?


I said
to him that
he was the first one to raise that
query
. And no, we had not evaluated these
costs.



Technonationalism to Te
chnoglobalism


Technology denial
over the years has been
affected through several instruments
such as Wassenar Arrangement, Nuclear Suppliers Group, Australia Group, etc.
India’s technology denial
share
ranged
from a high performance supercomputer
to cryo
genic engine used in the space launch vehicles.
W
hen technology was not
a
vailable for love or for money, t
he only option
for India
was developing the
technology on its own.

India had to follow the path of this “technonationalism”.


Nations like South Afr
ica had to adopt to technonationalism, since during the
apartheid regime, there were wide ranging sanctions imposed on it. Lack of oil
forced them to create synthetic fuels based on coal by developing Fischer
Tropsch technologies, something that is findin
g a great value

in times of rise of
oil prices today.



3

Many n
ations have tended
to resort
to
“t
echnonationalism


by giving a
priority on
science fo
r national economic development
but
by
essentially
going

alone.

M
any
nations have

placed
emphasis on proje
cting
national power and status


just as Soviet Union

did before its break
-
up. China
in recent times
has pursued
manned space missions for both substantive and symbolic reasons. China
has
used these
as a means of announcing
China’s arrival as a global p
ower.


Techno
globalism

does away with the top
-
down approach implicit in
Technonationalism. The
foundation of Technoglobalism is based
on robust
global knowledge and innovation networks. It
is built on the imperative of
strong
interaction

between the inte
rnationalization of technology and the

globalization of
the economy. It encompasses the

widening cross
-
border interdependence
between individual
-
based sciences and

economic sectors
. It signals the change
of
‘geography’ of science
,
technology and innovati
on, from advanced nations to
talent rich emerging economies.


Technoglobalism
serves different purposes. It
is used for creating private good
by transnational companies but increasingly as the world faces grand challenges
of climate change, depleting fo
ssil fuel resources, water crisis, ravaging of
biodiversity, global health, etc., there is an increasing demand on
technoglobalism directed towards creatin
g a public good, or global good
.


Indian
Technonationalism


It was through the path of ‘techno
natio
nalism
’ that
India developed
self
-
reliance
through
its own technologies in space, defence, nuclear energy, and
supercomputers, among others.


Take India’s
defence
research infrastructure
.
India has developed d
iverse
missiles and rocket systems
, as also

l
ow

level tracking radar, high
-
vision devices,

4

sophisticated sonar systems, a light
-
combat aircraft
,
remotely piloted vehicle
s

and so on. None of these were available
to India
for love or for money.


Look at

our forays into

nuclear S&T
.
The entire rang
e of technologies, from the
prospecting of raw materials to the design and construction of large nuclear
reactors
was developed
on a self
-
reliant basis.

India’s nuclear fast
-
breeder
reactors emerged from its thrust towards technonationalism.

The Indo
-
Ame
rican
nuclear deal would not have been signed, if India had not
positioned it for the
future this way.


And the
recent
crowning glory of
India’s
space

research

has been a matter of
pride for all the Indians
.
India’s first mo
on orbiter project Chandrayan
-
1

placed a
527 kg spacecraft in 100 km polar orbit with high
-
resolution, remote sensing
equipment
. It carried two
USA
payloads
from NASA
too!


Paradoxically, it was
USA, which had denied India the cryogenic engine, a critical requirement in
India’s space

programme!



India
is now ranked amongst handful of
nations of the world that have a credible
capabili
ty in space S&T.

India’s

space programme

has led to the creation of
the
largest domestic communication system in the Asia

Pacific region.

Indian
space

technology
,

born out of
India
technonationalism
,

has served the
civilian
needs in
communica
tion, meteorology, broadcasting

and remote sensing.


Indian
Technonationalism
and
Export Control Regimes


Technonationalism

is
always driven by
technology
denial.

But the denial regime
itself undergoes a change as technonationalism gives the country a strong
technological foundation. The best example of this is India’s forays into
s
upercomputers
, which

today
are
being
increasingly

regarded as a strategic
resource.





5

India’s supercomputer
journey began
, when a

CRAY super computer was denied
to India in mid
-
eighties. India’s response was to
launch the Centre for
Development of Advanced Computing (C
-
DAC) in 1987
. I
n 1991, India
developed its first supercomputer
,

PA
RAM 8000
.


Two interesting facts about PARAM 8000 are worth noting in terms of cost and
time. PARAM was built at a cost that was less than the cost of the imported
CRAY computer! It was built in a time that was less than the time to import and
install
a large computer system in India at that time!


But
PARAM by C
-
DAC

was not the only response by India to technology denial.
There was ‘
Flowsolver


by National Aerospace Laboratories (NAL), ANUPAM by
Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC), and ANURAG by De
fence Research
and
Development Organization (DRDO). And just this year Tata Research
Laboratory’s EKA was ranked the 7
th

fastest supercomputer in the world.


The long voyage in high
-
performance computing was not a smooth sail by any
reckoning. It was pl
agued

by several difficulties, including embargoes on critical
components, architectural debates, make
-
versus
-
buy
debates,

loss of key talent
to multinationals, and bureaucratic hurdles.

Interestingly though, a direct
correlation can be found between In
dia’s forays into supercomputer and the
technology denial play.


After C
-
DAC successfully demonstrated the PARAM
-
8000 in
1990, the Los
Alamos (Worlton) report concluded that supercomputers were not necessary to
design nuclear weapons.


In 1991

1992, C
-
DA
C exported its PARAM supercomputers to Canada,
Germany, and Russia, while others, such

as NAL’s FLOSOLVER Mk III, and
DRDOs’ PACE, matched the capabilities of US
-
made, mid
-
range workstations.



6

In December 1992, the US Office of Naval Research sent an offi
cial to Bangalore
to assess Indian capabilities in

supercomputing. In 1993, the US authorized the
licensed conditional export of high
-
performance computers to several Indian
institutions.


In April 1995, India placed parallel processing supercomputing on i
ts list of items
requiring an Indian export license. In July 1995, the US began to review its
supercomputers export controls and in October 1995, further relaxed the export
of computers to India.


In 1998, C
-
DAC launched PARAM 10,000, which demonstrated In
dia’s capacity
to build 100
-
gigaflo
p machines.

In response, the US further relaxed its export
controls.


During the same year, CRAY established a subsidiary in India; the same
company had denied CRAY supercomputers in 1980s
!


There is a saying that ‘str
ength respects strength’. India’s foray into
supercomputers is a brilliant example of this.


Technoglobalism


The imprints of technoglobalism

are evident
all over the emerging economies,
which have
a strong talent capital.

On the outskirts of Shanghai, b
y

2012
, around

10,000

researchers will be working in the Intel researc
h facility that was built from

scratch in just five months
.

In Beijing, engineers at Ericsson’s research centre
are developing routers for mobile phone systems at a third of the cost o
f those in
Europe
.


And

India is no exception.
Intel’s latest chip is being designed in Bangalore, and
so i
s

General Electric’s latest aero engine.
Around
300 multinational companies

7

have set up their R&D centres in India, including GE, IBM, Microsoft,

Du

P
ont,
Shell, and General Motors.

Over 90%

of the US patents filed from Bangalore
are for the foreign

R&D centres


Indian IQ generating IP for these companies!


The centre of gravity for innovation is starting to shift from west to east.

The ris
e
of China, India, and South Korea will redefine the innovation landscape.
And
there are data to support this. During the decade of 1994
-
2004, the resident
patent applications in South Korea went up by 269% and that in China by 488%,
in contrast
to
the pa
tent applications in the world, which went by only 42%! In the
same decade, China’s R&D intensity
measured in terms of investment in R&D as
a proportion of GDP
more than doubled, from 0.6% of GDP in 1995 to over 1.2%
in 2004.


T
he advanced nations are alr
eady preparing for this
surprising

shift.

A report
entitled “Avoiding Surprise in an Era of Global Technology Advances” by
Committee on Defense Intelligence Agency Technology Forecasts and Reviews

set up by

National Research Council (2005)
of USA
conclude
d

as follows:


“T
raditionally, the United States has assumed that it leads the world in science
and technology. This persp
ective leads the technology warn
ing community to
look for indications that external actors are trying to “catch up”, or to exploit
known technologies in new ways. Projected future trends suggest that it should
no longer be automatically assumed that the United States will lead in all relevant
technologies.





8

Technoglobalism is here to stay

for several reasons.


First, t
here is a
n increasing pressure to shorten international market

penetration
time for new products, to shorten R&D times, and to decrease the market lifetime
for new products.



Second, i
nnovations are beginning to have multiple geographic and
organizational sources
of technology with increasingly

differentiated and
innovation
-
specific patterns of diffusion. R&D in high
-
technology industries such
as biotechnology,
nano technology,
microelectronics, pharmaceuticals, IT, and
advanced
materials has become highly science
based.


Third, t
he costs of doing R&D are also increasing exponentially. At the same
time, there has been a progressive weakening of the importance of central
corporate laboratories in large firms. Firms worldwide are
complimenting
internal
efforts
by
ext
ernal technology
partnerships on a global basis. The concept of
R&D is giving way to C&D


that is ‘connect and develop’
. For instance,

50% of
Procter & Gamble’s research budget is spent on C&D!


Fourth, the c
reation of seamless laboratories around the
world is also being
helped by the evolution of global information networks that allow real
-
time
management and operation of laboratories in any part of the world. Companies
are aggressively gaining a
competitive advantage by using global knowledge
resource
s and working with a global time clock.


Finally, t
he trend is also fuelled by a shortage of R&D personnel in some
emerging high
-
tech areas in industrialized countries.

T
he demographic shift
is
taking place in the US, Europe, and Japan, as its population

and workforce

become older.
For instance, according to the
US
National Science Foundation
Report (2002),
m
ore than 76% of the working doctorates in science and
engineering are more than 60 years old.
This means that a country like India,

9

with a demograph
ic profile that
boasts of 55% of its population being less than 25
years old, can become a global innovation hub.


Cons
equences of Technoglobalism


Techno
globalism in
countries like
India will have major social, economic, political,
and strategic
consequ
ences.
As India becomes a great
global
R&D
and
innovation hub
, the world’s best companies will undertake their

most challenging
R&D in India.
T
hese challenges are even now drawing young Indian scientists
and engineers back to

India.


For instance, GE’s J
ack Welch R&D centre in
Bangalore alone has over 700 Indian researchers return

from USA
.

Brain drain


is giving way to

brain gain


and then to

brain circulation

, the returning Indian
scientists leaving these multinational R&D centers and joining the
Indian
enterprises, as they see ch
allenging opportunities in these enterprises.


More than half of GDP in OECD countries is due to the production and
distribution of knowledge. And this proportion is on the increase. As more and
more of this knowledge fo
r the leading corporates from OECD gets generated in
India, it
s strategic position will improve.


Technoglobalism & Global Grand Challenges


It is heartening to see that the world is launching major experiments in
technoglobalism for solving some grand c
hallenges in science as well as
technology. The Large Hadron Collider (over 8 billion US dollars) and
International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (over 9 billion US dollars) are
excellent examples. The first is searching answers connected with
the o
rigin of
universe
and the second is attempting to find an environmentally benign and
inexhaustible source of energy.



10

The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is the world’s largest and highest energy
particle collider. The LHC was built by European Organisation f
or Nuclear
Research (CERN) with intention of testing various predictions of high energy
physics, which may shed light on the conditions that existed around the origin of
the universe. It is a great example of technoglobalism, since it is funded and built
in collaboration with over 10,000

sc
ientists and engineers from over
100
countries.
10 September 2008 was the historical day (some referred to it as the
‘big bang day’), when the experiments started.


As the world energy demands increase, with the demands

on reducing the green
house gas omissions also increasing, would it not be wonderful to explore the
potential of an environmentally benign and essentially inexhaustible electricity?
That is precisely what the most expensive experiment in technoglobalism

that
was agreed between 7 participants on 21 November 2006 is attempting to do
through the launch of The ITER (International Thermonuclear Experimental
Reactor). This is an experimental project aimed at future electricity producing
fusion power plants.

The seven partners in the ITER project are China,
European Union, India, Japan, Russia, South Korea and USA. Th
is is an
incredible partnership amongst nations with diverse

economic and technology
status and ideologies.



Technoglobalism for Global Common
s


We need the equivalents

of LHC and ITER for facing
grand challenges that t
h
e
world is facing

today.
These challenges comprise
climate c
hange, diminishing
hydrocarbon

energy resources, food and water crisis, terrorism, and now the
financial crisis due t
o global melt
-
down. The financial crisis will go away but not
the others. There is a need to tackle the other crisis by giving a new twist to
technoglobalism by

creating global commons by using global talent pool and by
using global funds

.


11


W
hat levels

of
global
funds will be required?

Professor Jeffrey Sachs

has
estimated

that R&D for
sustainable development


in energy, health, agriculture,
climate and water


may require US$70 billion per annum.
Global R&D spending
is expected to

reach US$1,210 bill
ion in 2008.

Thus for global commons, we
require about
5.8 per cent of the present global expenditure on
R&D.



If such funds were made available, what would be the path for ‘technoglobalism
for global commons’?

Several models are possible.


One model

is the ‘Global Research Alliance’ formed by a network of network of
public R&D institutions (not for profit) from 5 continents and 9 countries. These
include CSIR (India), CSIRO (Australia), SIRIM (Malaysia), CSIR (South Africa
),
FhG
(Germany), TNO (Neth
erlands), DTI (Denmark), VTT (Finland) and Battelle
(USA). Programmes from
low cost internet access to rural Africa to climate
change effect on sub
-
saharan Africa
form

part of the GRA portfolio aimed
towards global good.


The Bill and Melinda Gates Founda
tion

(BMGF)
, the Rockefeller Foundation and
others have done exceptionally well to establish new models of global
cooperation, such
as novel public
-
private partnerships. Novel ways of getting
the best minds in the world to contribute to solving the ‘gran
d challenges in global
health’ have been established by BMGF. These could be emulated for the other
grand challenges
that the world is facing.


Technoglobalism for global commons

will also involve issues of intellectual
property rights and technology tran
sfer. These have been

implicitly enshrined in
TRIPS
.

Article 7 of the TRIPS Agreement states ‘the protection and enforcement
of intellectual property rights should contribute to the promotion of technological
innovation and to the transfer and disseminat
ion of technology to the mutual
advantage of producers and users of technological knowledge and in a manner

12

conducive to social and economic welfare, and to a balance of rights and
obligations’.



However, these have remained mere intentions. Article 7 ha
s never been
implemented. For instance, t
he 1990 Montreal Protocol on Substances that
Deplete the Ozone Layer ran into conflicts over commitments to ensure fair and
favourable

access for developing countries to chlorofluorocarbon

(CFC)
substitutes protecte
d by intellectual property

rights. The 1992 Convention on
Biological Diversity

aims to ensure fair and equitable use of genetic resources

partly through technology cooperation, but its

technological provisions have
received little attention.

The new partne
rships in technoglobalism should be
committed to these imperatives.


Finally, f
or a fair and equitable world, where knowledge and innovation could be
used to benefit not just a select few


but all


will require ‘technoglobalism with
human face

. Then
only will we be able to create global commons that will serve
the global good.