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KSA and other Recent Info

Kingdom of Saudi Arabia – With the advent of a knowledge economy developing in Saudi Arabia, Huawei, a leading global information and communications technology (ICT) solutions provider, and Information Data Corporation (IDC) connected with CIOs and education leaders to demonstrate how the right smart E-education technology can help institutions improve the standards of education.

Being held at the Four Seasons in Riyadh, the IDC Smart Education Summit will address how the emergence of BYOD, connected learning, cloud services, software defined networking and big data analytics has the ability to revolutionize education and make learning more interactive for Saudi students.

As the country moves closer to developing a true knowledge-based economy, the Smart Education Summit follows a recent IDC report, which announced that ICT spending in the KSA Education sector is set to increase between 2013 and 2018 with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8.2 percent.  Link

‘Smartest cities’ in America – Seattle is ranked No. 9 in Forbes’ 2014 list of “America’s smartest cities,” a list dominated by cities with major universities former industrial cities that have transitioned to knowledge economies. … Raleigh, N.C., at the heart of a “knowledge triangle” of universities and high tech companies, is No. 7 on the list.  Link

South Africa – I was cornered in the lift this week by a student who piped up in a typical Wits-cheeky manner: “So, Prof Habib, I heard you on radio yesterday announcing that Wits has received R100-million from an anonymous donor. Does this mean that my student fees are covered for the next few years?”  “No,” I replied, “We need more funds. All universities in South Africa need more funding if we are to develop as a sector and contribute towards the development of high-level skills in our country.”  I did remind him that he was indeed one of the privileged few to make it to university, and that he had a responsibility to give back to his university and to society for receiving a world-class education.  Universities have the responsibility to align their priorities with those of the country and the continent, to foster socioeconomic development, and to produce the high-level skills required to compete in the global knowledge economy, or risk being left behind.  Link

South Africa – We asked Morwane about how current ICT innovation in the country would boost education, economic development, job creation and other core issues: “The National Development Plan sees ICT by 2030 underpinning a dynamic, inclusive and prosperous information society and knowledge economy, in which a seamless information infrastructure will meet the needs of citizens, business and the public sector, providing access to a wide range of services required for effective economic and social participation at a cost and quality at least equal to South Africa’s competitors… The ICT Research Development and Innovation (RDI) Roadmap derived a vision for a South Africa that has overcome a digital divide and created a digital advantage.”  Link

Canada – “By connecting students with local businesses, this centre will provide students with the hands-on applied learning they need in the 21st century knowledge economy, while boosting productivity for manufacturers,” said [Reza Moridi, Ontario’s Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities].  Link

Malaysia – [Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak] also called for green industries to deliver jobs and help Malaysia create a deeper knowledge economy‎ to help young entrepreneurs acquire skills and support their needs.  Link

Turkey – [Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu takes over the rotating presidency of the G20]  What we could expect in the coming months is a tense process of public-private dialogue and collaboration in different sectors to increase the local value added to manufacturing production, decrease import dependency of productive sectors, improve energy efficiency and build the foundations of a knowledge economy.  Link


UAE, India, Kenya, and Poland

UAE – Dubai will invest Dh4.5bn to make the emirate an innovation hub for global tech businesses and entrepreneurs -The plan was announced at a ceremony oia, Kenya, and Polandn Monday to mark the 15th anniversary of DIC, the first non-industrial free zone, attended by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, the Vice President and Ruler of Dubai.  “Dubai Internet City has supported the transformation of our national economy into a knowledge economy,” Sheikh Mohammed said. “We have kept pace with great changes in technology. Now the time has come for Internet City to become a creator of change.  Link

UAE – Speaking about the UAE knowledge and innovation initiative, INNOVATIVE, Al Mansouri said, “We target to acquaint the economy for a step further towards INNOVATIVE. In this regard, it is our aim to have a 5 per cent contribution from knowledge economy and innovation to the GDP by 2021.”  Link  [KnowledgeEconomy.com would be honored to help grow that contribution]

UAE – “His Highness had an insight. He foresaw the internet revolution in its earliest days, and it was that vision, which put our national economy on the path to become a globally recognised knowledge economy,” [Dubai Holding’s Chairman, Mohammed Abdullah Al Gergawi] said.  Link

UAE – On October 29, 2000, announcing the launch of Dubai Internet City, His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, said: “The test of success (of DIC) will be if businessmen find it more profitable to carry out their e-business from Dubai. There is no other test. This is the project. This is to be pursued with energy and efficiency.”  Dubai Internet City has sailed through the test, and is today the pillar of Dubai’s knowledge economy. It has served as home to over 1,400 businesses and providing employment to over 20,000 people, and has been a force of the city’s smart transformation.  Link

India – Stating that we are living in the age of the “knowledge economy“, [Nobel Peace prize winner Kailash] Satyarthi said that quality education is “the key to liberation which should empower an individual’s employability, significantly bringing down resentment in our society”.  Link

India – ICANN – Net user base growing fastest in India: Samiran Gupta – Earlier this year in August, India launched the IDN [Internationalized Domain Names] ‘dot bharat’ in Devanagari script covering eight languages. This is a huge step forward and, together with the “Digital India” programme, India looks set for the transformation into a connected knowledge economy.  Link

Kenya – Microsoft 4Afika – Kunle Awosika, Microsoft Kenya Country Manager, providing the rationale for the initiative said; “Unemployment is a challenge for many youth and initiatives such as EmployMentor can bridge the skills gap between academia and the working world. Through the 4Afrika Initiative, Microsoft aims to play an active role in the evolution of Africa from a labour-based economy to a knowledge economy by empowering local innovation, up-skilling youth with 21st century ICT skills and providing Internet access.”  Link

Poland – European Patent Office – In his welcome address to the conference, EPO President Benoît Battistelli said that patent information was becoming increasingly relevant, not only for the established IP community, but also for business, government and NGOs to inform their economic and political decision-making.  “In today’s globalised knowledge economy, the need for patent information is greater than ever,” said Mr Battistelli. “The EPO is committed to playing its part to ensure users have the best data in the most accessible way so they can take the best decisions and make optimal use of the patent system.”  Link


Recent Info

UAE – [Ahmed Saleh, regional manager of patents and design from Al Tamimi and Company] noted the diversification plan by the UAE and the building of a knowledge-based economy. “There is a lot of discussion about the creation of the knowledge economy and how to put knowledge to work in Abu Dhabi and the UAE. Especially following the recent announcement by His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, of the ambitious “National Innovation Strategy”, said Dr Mohammed Al Mualla, senior vice-president for Research and Development at Khalifa University. “Diversification of the economy will increase opportunities for Emiratis at all education levels and strengthen the country… our hope is that Reyada can further define the path that the knowledge economy can take, and provide local researchers and entrepreneurs with the tools and tactics they need in order to thrive in this exciting new economy,” he added.  Link

Cardiff, UK – Tim Williams, chief executive of think tank Committee for Sydney, addressed a meeting of the Cardiff Breakfast Club. Mr Williams said: “Cardiff is developing and has a bright future. Cities are attractive because they create knowledge transfers and economic outcomes and are gaining more importance in the knowledge economy.” Link

Nigeria – Vice- Chancellor of Bells University of Technology, Ota, Prof. Isaac Adeyemi observed that economic research, Innovation and education were key factors of knowledge economy. Adeyemi noted that knowledge economy was gradually ruling the world, adding that Nigeria must trade on such path if it desires to occupy its rightful position in the committee of nations. He added that the Bells University was following the path by breeding the next generation of Africa’s leaders well-grounded in ICT and other modern technology needed to excel in the society.  Link

Kentucky – Kentucky’s historic commitment to research, however, is at some risk. But if we want a competitive, innovative economy we need to continue to invest in programs like Bucks for Brains, and to support the commercialization of research which will lead to the creation of knowledge economy jobs in the agriculture, energy, technology, health, advanced manufacturing and business sectors. Continuing to invest in research and innovation is critical to our state’s economic future.  Link

Singapore – Singapore’s Senior Minister of State in the Law and Education Ministries Indranee Rajah, the chief guest at the event, noted that the quiz was one of the many ways Tata reaches out to the community, in particular the youths. “From the time that Tata Group was established in Singapore in early 1970s, they have stuck to their values, made efforts to engage the community even as they have expanded their business footprint here,” Rajah said. She said in addition to the quiz there was also the Tata International Internship programme which since 2007 has provided a platform for Singapore youths to gain deeper understanding of India. The quiz was conducted by Giri ‘Pickbrain’ Balasubramanium, the founder and chief executive officer of Greycaps India Pvt Ltd, India’s third largest on stage quizzing and knowledge service provider. “We are moving into knowledge economy and today’s youngsters clearly understand that knowledge prowess is the game changer for their career,” Balasubramaniam said.  Link

ITU (International Telecommunication Union) – Secretary-General Hamadoun I. Touré said “It is very encouraging to see such informed and energetic contributions to our main policy-making conference processes. Young people are not just the future of this sector, they are a current force of creators, entrepreneurs and consumers and we stand to benefit the more we can integrate their voices and insights into policies that will guide our sector towards the future knowledge economy.”  Link

Pittsburgh – That city’s renewal also illustrates how the prosperity of a competitive region is coupled with the education of its residents and the preparation of its workforce. Bringing skilled individuals to work and live in proximity facilitates global reach and scale for the local economy. In a knowledge economy, competition is ubiquitous. Education leads to growth but a region growing in prosperity must compete to attract educated workers from elsewhere.  Link  [post by Ishwar Puri, Dean of Engineering at McMaster University]


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