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US, a technology leader? India, China to take over soon

Last updated on: January 20, 2012 08:29 IST

US, a technology leader? India, China to take over soon

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Lalit K Jha in Washington

The US remains global leader in supporting science and technology (S&T) research and development, but could soon be overtaken by rapidly rising Asian countries like India and China, a latest report by an American body said.

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Image: A man checks his messages on his smartphone at the Microsoft booth during the 2012 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.
Photographs: Steve Marcus/Reuters.

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"This information clearly shows we must re-examine long-held assumptions about the global dominance of the American science and technology enterprise," said National Science Foundation (NSF) Director, Subra Suresh, after release of Science and Engineering Indicators 2012.

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Image: Subra Suresh.


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"And we must take seriously new strategies for education, workforce development and innovation in order for the United States to retain its international leadership position," said Suresh, one of the highest ranking Indian American in the Obama Administration.

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Image: New Proton semi-conductor based genome sequencing machine by Ion Torrent is seen in Guilford.
Photographs: Michelle McLoughlin/Reuters.

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Suresh oversees NSF's $7 billion dollar budget, which is awarded to the federal agency by Congress and funds basic research and education across all fields of science and engineering, including some 15 per cent of federally supported basic research conducted at America's colleges and universities.

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Image: Harvard University.

Tags: NSF , Congress , China , India

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According to the new Indicators 2012, the largest global S&T gains occurred in the so-called "Asia-10"--China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan and Thailand--as those countries integrate Science and Technology into economic growth.

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Image: Workers prepare the booth for Sony at the Consumer Electronics Show opening in Las Vegas.
Photographs: Rick Wilking/Reuters.

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Between 1999 and 2009, for example, the US share of global research and development (R&D) dropped from 38 per cent to 31 per cent, whereas it grew from 24 per cent to 35 per cent in the Asia region during the same time, the report said.

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Image: Aastrom Biosciences Research Associate Judith Schmitt views harvested ixmyelocel-T product through a microscope in the laboratory.
Photographs: Rebecca Cook/Reuters.
Tags: US , China , Asia , India

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US, a technology leader? India, China to take over soon

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In China alone, R&D growth increased a stunning 28 per cent in a single year (2008-2009), propelling it past Japan and into second place behind the United States, it said.

"Over the last decade, the world has changed dramatically," said Jose-Marie Griffiths, chair of the National Science Board committee that oversees production of the report.

Image: The robot, claimed by the Hong Kong manufacturer to be the first toy to be controlled by bluetooth as compared to infra-red technology used in such toys in the past, which requires an extra device to be attached to the smartphone or tablet, is expected to sell between $200 and $250.

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Image: A robot moves while being controlled by a tablet computer app via bluetooth during the Hong Kong Toys and Games Fair.
Photographs: Bobby Yip/Reuters.

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"It's now a world with very different actors who have made advancement in science and technology a top priority. And many of the troubling trends we're seeing are now very well established," Griffiths said.


Image: Ed Damiano holds up the prototype for the portable monitor for a bionic pancreas at the family's home in Acton, Massachusetts.
Photographs: Brian Snyder/Reuters.
Tags: Griffiths , China , India , US

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