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Knowledge@Wharton on Cuba

Faquiry Diaz Cala, CEO of Tres Mares Group, an innovation-driven holding company in Miami that invests and co-invests alongside successful Venture Capital/Private Equity funds and multilateral organizations throughout Latin America and the US:  The knowledge economy in Cuba is significantly stronger than people give it credit for. The country has one of the highest literacy rates in the hemisphere, one of the highest college graduate rates and PhDs in the hard sciences. Cuba has been producing physicists, mathematicians and so forth who have been exported to other countries. We have to consider Cuba as a startup nation and take a look at some of the similarities with Israel.”  Link


From Carbon to Knowledge Economy

All nations face the question of how to meet economic, social and technological change. Taking a proactive approach to its future, Qatar has set out a clear path for the transition from a carbon- to a knowledge-based economy through the Qatar National Vision 2030. … What marks Qatar Foundation’s approach to research and development as special, is its application of a cycle of education, research and commercialisation.  From the outset comes a commitment to investment in a wide range of research in order to foster commercially viable projects that will contribute to the new knowledge economy through Qatar National Research Fund. This works in tandem with QF’s promotion of a culture of innovation through the entire education cycle that encourages new thinking. … This process has proven its success in helping to incubate well-researched ideas into prototypes that are patented and commercialised and, therefore, advancing Qatar towards fulfilling its National Vision by delivering economic diversification and innovating home-grown solutions to the grand challenges. … With initiatives in art and literature as well as health, family policy and sustainability, Qatar Foundation is proving its commitment to social development alongside the growth of the knowledge economy.  Link


Knowledge Economy Focus

INDIA: Maharashtra Finance Minister, Sudhir Mungantiwar, [last week] said upgrading the knowledge economy and skill development for increasing employment opportunities will be the focus of his first budget, to be presented in March.  Talking to PTI, Mungantiwar said agriculture, irrigation, infrastructure, education (especially skill development) and knowledge economy will be the key areas where he will work for revenue generation which is necessary to fund social security schemes. Link

UAE:  Delivering his keynote address at the opening session His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of Dubai Civil Aviation and Chairman & Chief Executive of Emirates Airline and Group emphasised the importance of the forum in evaluating the prospects for the UAE economy in 2015 and in promoting the march towards a knowledge economy. … “The focus of this event on knowledge economy fits well with the aspirations of Dubai to enhance its knowledge capital through skills and new technologies which eventually will lead to high productivity. The leadership has developed an integrated strategy, which comprises 100 initiatives and 1,000 smart services, to transform Dubai into one of the smartest cities in the world. Economic activities, lifestyles, transportation, and government services will be aligned with smart technologies, environment and human capital development, leading to the realisation of the knowledge economy,” His Highness added. Link

MIDDLE EAST:  Christopher Schroeder, an American entrepreneur and author of Startup Rising — The Entrepreneurial Revolution Remaking the Middle East says, that despite the common journalistic narrative of the region being “in flames,” Middle East start-ups are enduring that fight and are even succeeding. … “The last decade has been about oil, trade, real estate, banking — the next decade will leverage this success to focus on innovation and the knowledge economy,” says Schroeder. Link

NIGERIA:  The Director General and Chief Executive Officer of the Industrial Fund (ITF), Dr. Juliet Chukkas-Onaeko has underscored the need for organisations to adequately equip their workforce to contribute to national growth and development. According to her, knowledge based economy was required to keep abreast in areas of specialisation, in order to remain relevant and competitive in the workplace.  Link


NEW DELHI: US-based telecom major AT&T says the Narendra Modi government’s ‘Digital India‘ and ‘Make in India’ campaigns have “tremendous potential” that could transform the country’s telecom sector.  “The two programmes have tremendous potential of bringing far reaching and structural changes in India’s telecom sector,” AT&T Global Network Services India managing director Sanjiv Bhagat told ET. … The Modi government’s digital drive, which has an initial outlay of Rs 113,000 crore [~$18B], aims to transform India into a digitally-empowered knowledge economy by 2018 with a slew of e-services, which include the existing national e-governance (NeGP) plan.  Link


Australia – Canberra’s business community says it’s time to kick-start the ACT [Australian Capital Territory] economy and has endorsed Andrew Barr as the man for the job.  Encouraging local business, growing the ACT’s knowledge economy and the new convention centre were on the business wishlist for the new Barr government, after the new Chief Minister was sworn in on Wednesday.  Canberra Business Chamber chief executive Chris Faulks said the growing sector needed to be a priority, as the public sector continued to scale back.  “We need to move beyond [land sales and property tax] to invest in enabling infrastructure, to grow other industries in Canberra where we have a natural competitive advantage, industries like our knowledge-based economies, leveraging our research and learning institutions and entrepreneur base,” she said.  Link


Canada has also become a prime destination for top researchers and skilled workers from around the world. In fact, it ranks first among G-7 countries in spending on research and development in universities and colleges as a share of its gross domestic product.  …  On December 4, 2014, the Government of Canada launched an updated strategy: Seizing Canada’s Moment: Moving Forward in Science, Technology and Innovation 2014 which  …  will leverage the expertise and resources of post-secondary institutions, industry and government to translate brilliant theories and ideas into applications that will improve the day-to-day lives of Canadians and generate economic growth and jobs across the country. It will be guided by four core principles: promoting world-leading excellence, focusing on targeted priorities, fostering partnerships and enhancing accountability.  More specifically, Seizing Canada’s Moment will focus on:

  • People, by attracting and retaining the highly-qualified and skilled individuals, and top experts and leaders needed for Canada to thrive in the global knowledge economy. The strategy will also enhance opportunities for innovators and researchers whose ambitions and creativity generate discoveries that improve social and economic outcomes for Canadians.  Link

December 08 – Education and training programmes have the potential to become drivers for UK-UAE relations, according to UK Trade and Investment (UKTI). Sunita Mirchandani, an advisor at the UKTI, tells AMEinfo, “There is huge potential in UAE-UK partnerships in knowledge transfer, capacity building, innovation, the emiratisation programme and talent building. If you hear what UAE rulers always talk about, there is so much interest in developing a knowledge-based economy, local talent, national innovation and so on.”  Link


Before Ed Boland joined Scout Ventures, he was in the private banking world searching for a niche to cover as he tried to make his career. All the traditional industries in Miami, like healthcare and law, were over-crowded, but then he read about the emerging tech ecosystem in Miami.

After connecting with notable individuals in the community, he realized that being affiliated via banking would only serve to make him a service provider. What Boland really wanted was to be a key figure pushing the ecosystem forward; he wanted to help change Miami from a service based economy to a knowledge based economy.  Link


Last month, universities from Ireland participated in the Education in Ireland fairs in New Delhi, Pune, Chennai and Bangalore. These fairs promote Irish higher education institutes in India. Patrick O’ Riordan, Enterprise Ireland—Director India/South Asia Commercial Section, Embassy of Ireland, explains Vikram Chaudhary of The Financial Express how Ireland has made huge advances in making its education system more open to the brightest and best young Indian minds. …

Qualities of the best venture teams in Ireland are that they are led by teams of promoters rather than individuals. Diversity of skills and experiences in Irish-based companies is very desirable and increasingly evident.

Innovation is at the heart of Ireland’s knowledge economy and there is a huge emphasis in inculcating an innovation mindset amongst students. Most Irish universities now offer and encourage entrepreneurship across STEM disciplines. This strategy is working with Ireland ranking first in the world for the availability of skills and fourth for the quality of its education system.  Link


The consensus among all participating speakers on day one was that information has become a tool for measuring power and excellence. And with knowledge noted as the basic pillar for advancement, it’s the youth who can help shape a country’s future.

“We will have a completely different future thanks to knowledge,” [Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Foundation’s (MBRF) Managing Director, Jamal bin] Huwaireb said. “A much stronger one.”

Also championing the impact that youth can have on a nation’s knowledge economy was emphasised upon by Dr Khaled Al Hashash, founder and president of the Association of Islamic Economics.  …

Also speaking at the first session titled: ‘The transition towards knowledge-based economy between theory and reality’, vice-chancellor of the Higher Colleges of Technology, Dr Tayeb Kamali, said there is a real need for Arab countries to adopt the tools of technology to expedite the learning abilities of students. With this, a thriving knowledge-based economy can be reached.  Link


Google’s success with Chromebooks in the classroom has got to be making the folks at Apple quite worried, and it is not just about the hardware.  The growth of any knowledge economy depends in teachers and students working well together.  The following is an excerpt from the TechRepublic article: Chromebooks leapfrog iPads in US education market for first time, here’s why

Earlier this year, Google rolled out its Classroom tool, geared toward bettering organization and collaboration between students and teachers. Chromebooks weren’t exceptionally difficult to manage before, but Classroom further eases the process by connecting Google Docs, Drive, and Gmail in a unique way.

With Classroom, teachers can create specialized folders, organize assignments, communicate with students, and provide real-time feedback on student performance. Unfortunately, nothing native to the iPad provides the same service.