BRICS Innovations Lay Fertile Grounds for a Dynamic Enterprising Future

On an optimistic note one can say confidently that  BRICS as “Rising Powers” acknowledged the importance of creating timely innovations in a hot pursuit dynamic movement approach geared to provide essential solutions for critical “crises situations”. In this article I will concentrate on three (Brazil, Russia and China) with due consideration of others. According to the well-known economist Joseph Schumpeter “carrying out innovations is the only function which is fundamental in history”. What makes Schumpeter words important statement because it lay fertile grounds for others to build on asserting the linkage between innovations and entrepreneurship.  Thus, in his words: “entrepreneurship is innovation [that] have never seemed so appropriate as the nowadays, when modern capitalism is experiencing a serious crisis and lost [its] strength during the last Subprime and Euro-debt crises”.

Starting with Brazil, it has only recently witnessed a relatively long phase of national development (2005-2014) based on genuine economic indicators such as annual growth rates. Admittedly, without new innovative industrial projects the country can be characterized as “hostage to the agricultural sector” which is not an adverse matter but imposes limits on its national development. In a researched report called [Doing Business] Brazil has scored dismally in a number of selected areas: innovation (84th), capital market (58th), education (93th) with the final ranking 120th place out of 140th states analyzed. Hence, without genuine cultural changes in investment and supervision Brazil will continue to be conceived as an inefficient country. Whilst ironically not many know that Chile is the leader in the innovation sector across Latin America. Admittedly Brazil’s economy has shown signs of recovery but its innovative level continues to be characterized as stagnant. In another statistical data launched by (WIPO) the World’s Intellectual Property Organization the Global Innovation Index (GI) has analyzed 126/7 states using wide range of metrics to characterize how innovative a nation is : (1) Investment in Infrastructure, Information and mass media, communication technology, government’s online services and participations, presence of global Research and Development Organization and patent applications. On all the mentioned scores Brazil despite being the largest has scored 6th among the Latin American and Caribbean states, whilst Chile has scored 1th and Costa Rica scored 2nd. From the perspective of World’s ranking in the Global Innovation Index (GI) -2018, Brazil ranked (64th) Chile (47th ), Costa Rica (54th).  Admittedly such scores fluctuated due to various socio-economic, political and tech changes across the years. It’s worthwhile mentioning that Turkey ranked 50th in the Global Innovation Index whilst scoring 4th in the Middle Eastern region.  In the meantime it is important to mention that the number one country in the world in the Innovation Global Index -2018 is Switzerland, followed by Netherlands and Sweden. So, it isn’t necessarily Great or Superpowers that assume the helm of the Global Innovation Index. Thus, the US has scored number 6 at the Innovation Global Index whilst it’s the prime superpower state.  It seems that despite the criticism directed to the results of the Global Innovation Index an interesting and informative statistical other indicators has to be  added such as the Human Development Index (UNDP) to compare the overall results so that each country acknowledge the scope and the pace of innovation needed to close the gaps between aspirations and realities (limitations).

As to Russia, it has assumed the number 46th at the Global Innovation Index and the 31st state within the European Community. In the last 4/5 years Russia has adopted prominent important strategies to enhance its Innovative approach in Science and Technology such as initiating various federal laws on strategic planning and industrial policy (2014). Going even further to shape the Scientific and Technological Development of the Russian Federation (2016). Furthermore, the Russians were interested in boosting the Digital Economy of the Russian Federation Program (2017). However, these commendable efforts didn’t come without criticism by some scholars that the pace of dramatic changes in policy-setting may raise further controversial issues concerning the degree of coherence , and the relevant direction the Russian Innovative policies are taken.

As to China it has scored 16th at the Global Innovative Index whilst scoring 5th among the South East Asian Organization, so overall it has a rather good setting. However, it is interesting to note that China as well is considered in realpolitik terms one of the 5 prime Great Powers. In an article published at Forbes website, entitled “China is innovating faster than you imagine”. Michael C. Wenderoth noted a number of salient perceptions which can be induced or deduced. For example, according to the author of this article in his first tweet: “many Chinese executives in the burgeoning tech sector take umbrage at the idea they don’t innovate”. His second complementary tweet state that: “many innovative Chinese don’t need to look for international markets because there is so much room to grow in China”. In any case the Chinese seem so confident to compete on whatever innovative roadmap launched by the United States (Silicon Valley or elsewhere in NASA or other high-tech spaces, or with Israel or any other states such as India, etc.). Why? Because they can concretely demonstrate their achievements in glaring examples not just in the nuclear and space fields but in other prime fields of innovations such as: Huawei is the world’s leader in networking equipment, and currently developed a new prominent innovative technology called #3 smartphone maker in specific Western markets. Already Xiaomi has made it possible for enhancing marketing by selling Online. In the meantime, ALIBABA has established itself as the world’s largest commercial company rivalling Amazon particularly in selling most sophisticated and lucrative retail products. TenCent has Wechat application widely dominating the market with no less than 960 million users surpassing Facebook as well as a case study model for mobile gaming and fermium model to generate revenues and finally DJI is the world’s digital drone maker with high –edged tech applications of Robotic and internet.. From this perspective China is well situated to rival other highly advanced tech-states including the US, and certainly other BRICS.

Ahmad Shikara

Member of the faculty at the EmiratesCenter for Strategic Studies and Research (ECSSR) in Abu Dhabi since 2000. There he works in the Training Department and in Human Resources. He recently published on the ramifications of Iraqi elections. In the past he conducted extensive research at the ECSSR and has conducted graduate and faculty seminars focusing on the effect of resource scarcity on the Arabian Gulf and the United States. Dr. Shikara, and before joining the ECSSR, served on the Political Science Department at the United Arab Emirates University (1980-1994), as an honorary professor at the Institute of Developing Economies in Japan (1994) and as a research fellow in the Department of Political Studies at the University of Auckland, New Zealand (1996-2000).

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