≡ Menu

UK, UAE and South Africa

UK – Sir David said: “Improving connectivity is vital if Britain is to compete in the knowledge economy in which this country has a competitive advantage, but in which ease of travel is an essential element.

“Knowledge-based companies whether they are in high-tech manufacturing, the creative industries, finance or the law, have to be close, or feel close, to the talent, skills base, support network, knowledge pools, collaborators and clients necessary to create the “hot-house atmosphere” in which they thrive.

“That is why reducing the journey times between and within our cities isn’t just desirable for both passengers and freight. It is a strategic necessity.”  Link

UAE – H.E. [Sultan bin Saeed] Al Mansoori, [Ministry of the Economy - opening Global Trade Development Week 2014] also pointed out the UAE knowledge and innovation initiative, INNOVATIVE, “we target to acquaint the economy for a step further towards INNOVATIVE. In this regard, it is the aim of The UAE to have a 5% contribution from knowledge economy and innovation to the GDP by 2021.” Link

UAE – The two-part meeting included discussions on [Abu Dhabi Technology Development Ccommittee's] strategic efforts and commitment to establish a vibrant Science, Technology, and Innovation (STI) base in the Emirates as part of Abu Dhabi’s drive towards building a diversified knowledge economy. In return, the BAST [Beijing Association of Science and Technology] delegation provided details about the remit of their organization and discussed a potential future collaboration with TDC on its science and promotion initiatives, specifically the Abu Dhabi Science Festival (ADSF) and the Abu Dhabi Science Center (ADSC), both of which are similar to planned activities in Beijing, China.  Link

South Africa – One area which the 2014-2015 [World Economic Forum Global Competitiveness Report] ranking indicates as needing attention is innovation, specifically technological innovation. This area is very important as, globally, knowledge creation and the application of that knowledge in the creation of new products and services, is becoming a significant contributor to countries’ economic performance. This indicator is also significant in the context of South Africa having adopted, as a strategic intent, the move towards a knowledge economy.  Link


Recent Info

Arkansas – The Arkansas Regional Innovation Hub in North Little Rock and its efforts to foster innovation, entrepreneurship and access to the “knowledge” economy were lauded in the just-released 2014 State of the South report from MDC, a nonprofit organization based in Durham, N.C. Founded as Manpower Development Corporation in 1967, MDC annually publishes the report focusing on educational and vocational challenges facing the South. … The 2014 report — available here (PDF) — says Arkansas must continue growing access to knowledge-based jobs in the state.  Link

UK (Scotland) – The Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) reported last week that the UK needs an additional 87,000 engineering graduates by 2020. Engineering and the knowledge economy remain a massive opportunity for our economy and our young people; which takes me back to Dundee.  Link

Lebanon – “The central bank will have another incentive program of one billion dollars and we will be aggressively engaged in the promotion of knowledge economy,” [Riad] Salameh [central bank governor] said.  Link

Lebanon – Beirut – The signing ceremony of the IMPACT Fund occurred on October 24, 2014, representing a major milestone for Lebanon’s Venture Capital scene. With investor commitments in excess of $50 million, the IMPACT Fund is by far the largest Venture Capital fund in Lebanon, and notably the first fund to comply with Banque du Liban’s (BDL) Intermediate Circular 331. The Circular was created by BDL specifically to support the growth of Lebanon’s Knowledge Economy, a sector that is expected to materially improve High Tech employment in Lebanon.

The investment subsidy program outlined in the Intermediate Circular 331 is available only to Lebanese Banks; the program encourages Lebanese Banks to invest early stage equity capital in Lebanon’s Knowledge Economy by providing the Banks with an upfront 75% equity capital subsidy coupled with a 75% downside protection over an investment horizon of 7 years.  Link

UAE – His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, has endorsed the 2015-2021 plan of the Ministry of Education, that stresses innovation as a key factor in the coming years.

He also directed speeding up the plan’s implementation, stressing the importance of developing the educational process in the UAE widening its concept and bringing it on par with modern scientific ideas, thus leading to innovation in the sector to attain the objectives of the national agenda indicators as given in the UAE Vision 2021.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, while launching the strategy, said, “Thanks to the keen interest shown by the President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan in the field of education, the coming years will witness a complete change in the educational system, which would basically be built on innovation and will be aligned with the national strategy of innovation.” He added that the strategy focuses on knowledge integration in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and other fields, all of which contribute towards strengthening the knowledge economy. …

He also urged educators to pay extra attention to talented students at all schools and stages, stressing that educational plans should keep pace with developments in other sectors and must help build a national knowledge-based economy.  Link


Google’s Education Evangelist

Google Global Education Evangelist Jaime Casap pulled out his 3-day-old smartphone and held it up in front of a crowd of educators, business leaders and students gathered at Walsh University.  That phone, equipped with the most cutting-edge technology available, will be the worst technology that a 5-year-old child ever sees, he said Wednesday.  “That’s the generation that’s starting in our schools this year,” he said.

Casap, 46, served as the keynote speaker at the third annual Intelligent Community Forum Global Symposium.  He urged educators to start rethinking how kids are taught and even how classrooms are designed for the new “techweb” generation. Casap, who grew up in the Hell’s Kitchen area of New York City, noted that schools are teaching students for jobs that don’t exist yet in the new knowledge economy. Link



Challenges to Building a “Knowledge Society”: The Role of Literacy in Promoting Critical Thinking in the UAELink

Ministry of Economy Releases Emirate-specific Data on Latest Economic Achievements Ahead of UAE’s First Economic Planning Forum in Fujairah – The UAE government encourages innovation, research and development, seeking to increase the contribution of the knowledge economy to the GDP by 5% by 2021″ – Link

Education a key pillar of UAE’s growth – To successfully transform into a knowledge economy, nation must continue with investments in human capital base – Link

MBRSG, SAP Launch ‘Innovation Days’ Initiative – … Dr Bassem Yunis, Director of Business Development and Strategic Partnerships at MBRSG, said: “Mohammed Bin Rashid School of Government is honored to play the role of knowledge partner in supporting the vision of the government of Dubai that seeks to create a smarter world. To achieve this priority, MBRSG provides a shared knowledge platform for developers, innovators and decision makers.We are confident our partnerships with SAP and other major global technology leaders will help us achieve this long-term strategy for shaping a knowledge economy in the UAE and wider region.” – Link


Drucker and Google

A day or two ago I read a HBR Blog Network post entitled “What Peter Drucker Knew About 2020” by Rick Wartzman (@RWartzman) of the Drucker Institute.  I noted the following paragraph:

Drucker urged executives to push decision-making and accountability all the way down through the organization as early as 1954, when he introduced the concept of Management by Objectives. And yet there is ample evidence that most organizations remain paragons of command-and-control. In a knowledge economy, top-down direction is particularly detrimental because employees are bound to know more than their supervisors do about the specialized fields in which they operate. They may also know more about the customer—his needs and desires. “Knowledge workers have to manage themselves,” Drucker advised. “They have to have autonomy.”

Shortly thereafter I read a CNET post entitled “Google is ‘on the right side of history’ says Eric Schmidt” by Rich Trenholm (@rich_trenholm). Schmidt touches on several topics but he must have been channeling Drucker as he noted the following:

Schmidt recalls “the moment I discovered I wasn’t in a normal company.” Early in his time at Google he discussed a review of engineering performance with founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin. “I looked at it and said that makes sense to me, but then Larry and Sergey looked at it and said, ‘None of this is true.'” In fact, Page and Brin had been keeping an eye on what people were doing on an ongoing basis and so concluded that the company’s managers didn’t know what was going on. Their solution? Get rid of all the managers.

Known as “the disorg,” this process found the managers roles that suited them better, leaving Google with with just one manager in charge of 120 people…a number big enough so that he couldn’t wind up micromanaging each individual.

The company quickly found that with no management but a clear strategy, people would self-manage. One result was a new algorithm that fixed irrelevant ads showing up in search results — developed not by the ads team but by a few engineers figuring it out “when they had nothing to do one weekend.”


UK Copyright Education

The UK’s top IP advisor has published recommendations on how today’s youth should learn to respect copyright. The document envisions a mandatory copyright curriculum for all ages, online awareness campaigns, and a copyright education program run by the BBC.  …


In a 51-page report (pdf) that was just released Weatherley stresses the importance of copyright awareness and education, especially for the younger generation.  …

“The school curriculum needs to prepare pupils – from early years through to the end of secondary school and higher education – for the 21st century knowledge economy. Interaction with IP is a daily occurrence for many young people, and yet it is widely ignored within the education system,” the report reads.   Link


Recent Info

Microsoft 4Afrika – To fast-track their growth and provide a roadmap to highlight Africa’s ‘future growth pole’, Microsoft has revealed the 7 new African start-ups to receive funding, technical support and mentorship.  According to Microsoft, one of the goals of the Microsoft 4Afrika Initiative is to accelerate African innovation, ensuring that entrepreneurs continue to grow their businesses and solutions. In turn, they will create jobs, encourage skills development and grow the continent’s knowledge economy. – link

UK: Forging Futures: the next step for skills – link

IT is crucial to Qatar’s knowledge economy index ranking – link

Bulgaria needs an economy of knowledge – link

Iran in the knowledge economy era – link

Saudi Arabia – Minister of Education Prince Khaled Al-Faisal announced here recently that the ministry is in the process of equipping 250,000 classrooms and teachers with Internet connectivity, computers and tablets as part of a long-term investment in developing a knowledge economy. … Mohammad Al-Suwaiyel, president of King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology, said the national strategy on science, technology and innovation would transform the Kingdom into a knowledge economy. The first stage of the plan is self-accountability and establishing a solid structure for development and research, he said.
Minister of Economy and Planning Mohammad Al-Jasser echoed this view and said that the changes in the education system would be accompanied by an overhaul of some economic policies, with a focus on innovation and investment in advanced technologies. – link

Iran – TEHRAN (FNA)- Iranian Vice-President for Women and Family Affairs Shahindokht Molaverdi underscored the necessity for paying special attention to the development of knowledge-based economy in Iran.  Change in approach towards the natural resource-based economy to the knowledge-based economy is necessary, Molaverdi said on Wednesday, addressing a three-day seminar of women affairs’ advisors in Ministry of Industries, Mines and Trade in Tehran.  link

Buffalo, NY – Citing a broader benefit, Canty noted, “It is NIH support of innovative research that is fueling a thriving knowledge economy in Western New York, an important piece of which will be the opening of University of Buffalo’s medical school …” link

University of Iowa – UI Vice President for Research and Economic Development Dan Reed [a former Microsoft exec] said public research universities are uniquely poised to take advantage of the emerging “knowledge economy.”  “If knowledge is our most important engine of production, then talent is the raw material powering that engine,” Reed said. “Universities are the nation’s primary source of knowledge creation and its top cultivator of talent.” – link


Digital India

Press Information Bureau
Government of India


Digital India – A programme to transform India into digital empowered society and knowledge economy

The Cabinet today at the meeting chaired by the Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi gave its approval for Digital India – A programme to transform India into digital empowered society and knowledge economy.  This is a follow up to the key decisions taken on the design of the programme during the meeting of the Prime Minister on Digital India Programme on August 7, 2014, and to sensitize all ministries to this vast programme touching every corner of the government.  This programme has been envisaged by Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DeitY).

The vision of Digital India aims to transform the country into a digitally empowered society and knowledge economy.  The programme will be implemented in phases from the current year till 2018.  REST


Nick Berry, Facebook Data ScientistNick Berry is a data scientist at Facebook, and he recently spoke at Casual Connect USA 2014.  The complete GameSauce.org post can be found here with a 24 minute video of Nick’s remarks.  Most interesting was the following excerpt (emphasis added):

Being a data scientist gives Berry a unique perspective on data, and he is an advocate of data “trust,” which he feels is a better term than “data privacy.” “‘Privacy’ is the wrong word to use these days,” he explains. “We should be using the word ‘Trust.’ We are living in a knowledge economy, and the value many of us add in this industry is in the manipulation of information — not in the creation of some tangible hardware product. We take raw data (often customer data), and add value to it. We should use this data respectfully. People trust us with it. Without trust, people will not share, and data is the fuel of the knowledge economy.”


Just happened minutes ago …

Eric Schmidt, at the New America Foundation event Globalization Goes Digital (currently being webcast at http://newamerica.net/events/2014/globalization_goes_digital), as part of his answer to a question from Thomas Friedman:

Quote: The knowledge economy has arrived.

The event was related to the recently release McKinsey Global Institute report, “Global Flows in a Digital Age: How trade, Finance, People, and Data Connect the World Economy.”