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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.


Interesting News

Canada and Chile commit to strengthening the global knowledge economy  Link

Tata, Temasek, and Ramot – India’s Tata Group and Singapore-based investment company Temasek have become the lead investors in a $23M fund to invest in “knowledge economy” innovations coming out of Ramot, the Tel Aviv University tech transfer company.  Ramot PR

States spending more on HE – In a time of frantic calls to raise the number of Americans with university degrees who will be needed to feed the globally competitive knowledge economy, only two states – North Dakota and Alaska – have increased spending per student on higher education, when adjusted for inflation, since the economic downturn, according to the independent Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.  Link

India – “India is at a ‘digital payments sweet spot’ because of a series of initiatives and enablers both at the government level and in the competitive private space,” said Christophe Vergne, leader of the Global Cards and Payments Center of Excellence at consulting firm, Capgemini. … “Meanwhile, India’s government is turning out to be a big enabler of digital payments; its Digital India program [to transform India into a knowledge economy] envisages a smartphone in the hand of every Indian by 2019.” Link

Partnering with Digital India – posted by US Assistant Secretary of State Charles Rivkin – Link

US promotes entrepreneurship to counter extremism  Link

Saudi Arabia Advanced Research Alliance (Saara) – As its first action, Saara has established Technovia, a new venture dedicated to maintaining a systematic, staged process to build a pipeline of commercialisation opportunities in Saudi Arabia. … Dr Jean-Lou Chameau, president, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology [KAUST], said: “Technovia will help accelerate KAUST’s economic and technology development impact on Saudi Arabia’s key national strategic priorities. This collaboration will become a platform for all research universities in the kingdom and offer Saudi-based and global companies opportunities to impact the knowledge economy within the nation.”  Link

Qatar Focuses its Research – Qatar’s long-term research aim is to transform the country’s hydrocarbon-driven economy into a knowledge-based economy—a term that was hotly debated at the Qatar Foundation research conference, held on November 18 and 19.  “We need to decide what we mean by a knowledge-based economy,” said Darwish Al Emadi, head of the Social and Economic Research Institute at Qatar University. “Do we want to continue being knowledge consumers who buy knowledge because [we] can afford it or do we want to be part of knowledge creation as well?  Focus on research is very important as part of this knowledge-creation process,” he added.  Link

Australia – Growth in the Victorian and Australian economies now depends on the growth in “knowledge economy” jobs. These jobs at the creative, productive, innovative edge of our economy are now firmly enmeshed in the dense centres of our cities. As the US urban economists Ed Glaeser and Richard Florida have shown, the knowledge economy depends on close interactions between creative people and those who can deliver projects. This work requires intensive spaces in cities, which in turn need intensive modes of transport to enable them. This means that rail, cycling and walking are critical to the knowledge economy. Although heavily into digital communications, knowledge economy workers need face-to-face contact and are now shifting back into central and inner city locations to optimise this process. In contrast, cars and trucks are dispersive modes of transport, and are needed for the consumption economy. These jobs are important too, but are essentially based in the dispersed spaces of the suburbs. These jobs are not the ones we are seeking as much as those in the knowledge economy, because they do not drive productivity growth as effectively.  Link

US Sen. Martin Heinrich’s Microlab Technology Commercialization Act of 2014 article Link

Note the date November 24th, 2014 – in the future of mankind in space it is going to be worth remembering.  This is the date that the first 3D component was printed in space.  Given the difficulties of making things in space through any other means, I suspect that much of our future existence in space or on Mars or any other alien world will depend on “things” being “printed” – as we move to the molecular level with this technology it will look like things are just made to appear in thin air (or in vacuum chambers more likely).
NASA completes first successful in-space 3D-printing project


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