Innovation war or innovation peace?
September 16th, 2011
08:00 AM ET

Innovation war or innovation peace?

Editor's Note: John Kao, dubbed "Mr. Creativity" by The Economist, is the chairman for the institute of large-scale innovation and author of Innovation Nation. You can follow John on TwitterFacebook and at www.johnkao.com. This post is the fifth of six pieces by John about his recent trip to China. The first post was China as an innovation nationCheck back tomorrow morning at 8am for the last installment.

By John Kao – Special to CNN

The classical definition of a trade war applies to the behavior of two states that raise trade barriers against each other in a tit-for-tat cycle of protectionism and retaliation. The ultimate result is what economists call an 'autarchic equilibrium' - the state of self-sufficiency the countries arrive at once a trade war has burned itself out. Trade wars have traditionally occurred over physical goods such as commodities - finished products such as textiles and the like. But in the 21st century, trading in intellectual property, business models and other intangibles has risen in prominence. It is therefore worth asking whether the stage is being set for a new kind of innovation trade war, particularly between what some have called the G2 – i.e. China and the United States.

FULL POST

Post by:
Topics: China • Innovation
In search of the Chinese entreprenuer
(Getty Images)
September 15th, 2011
08:00 AM ET

In search of the Chinese entreprenuer

Editor's Note: John Kao, dubbed "Mr. Creativity" by The Economist, is the chairman for the institute of large scale innovation and author of Innovation Nation. You can follow John on TwitterFacebook and at www.johnkao.com. This post is the fourth of six pieces by John about his recent trip to China. The first post was China as an innovation nationCheck back each morning this week at 8am for the next installment.

By John Kao – Special to CNN

A famous East Asian saying goes something like this: 'It is better to be the head of a small chicken than the tail of a large ox.'In other words, it is better to run your own show than be a part of someone else’s. Today tens of thousands of China’s best and brightest are following this advice, with tremendous implications for China’s future innovation agenda. FULL POST

Post by:
Topics: China • Innovation
Chinese innovation – paper tiger or king of the hill?
(Getty Images)
September 14th, 2011
08:00 AM ET

Chinese innovation – paper tiger or king of the hill?

Editor's Note: John Kao, dubbed "Mr. Creativity" by The Economist, is the chairman for the institute of large scale innovation and author of Innovation Nation. You can follow John on TwitterFacebook and at www.johnkao.com. This post is the third of six pieces by John about his recent trip to China. The first post was China as an innovation nationCheck back each morning this week at 8am for the next installment.

By John Kao – Special to CNN

Two narratives are in play these days with regard to China’s innovation future. They could not be more polar opposite. One is openly dismissive of China, while the other sees a massive threat from the East on a scale that makes the Japan of the 1980’s seem like a tea party. The truth as always lies somewhere in between. But there is value in deconstructing these current perceptions because the future of China is definitely in play, and with it the world’s response.

Perhaps the most obvious example of narrative #1 is a recent editorial in the Wall Street Journal, titled Chinese Innovation, A Paper Tiger. It argues that China’s innovation prowess has been misleadingly marked up because of the number of patents it has filed. The authors, respected management academics, contend that the quality of those patents is low, more related to incremental improvement than groundbreaking innovation and therefore, China is not an innovation force to be reckoned with.

FULL POST

Post by:
Topics: China • Innovation
Why is innovation so important to China?
A cyclist rides past the CCTV Headquarters in Beijing on February 28, 2010. The futuristic 54-storey building standing 234 metres, or 768 feet tall, for the state-run China Central Television was designed by European architects Rem Koolhaas and Ole Scheeren. (Getty Images)
September 13th, 2011
08:00 AM ET

Why is innovation so important to China?

Editor's Note: John Kao, dubbed "Mr. Creativity" by The Economist, is the chairman for the institute of large scale innovation and author of Innovation Nation. You can follow John on TwitterFacebook and at www.johnkao.com. This post is the second of six pieces by John about his recent trip to China. The first post was China as an innovation nationCheck back each morning this week at 8am for the next installment.

By John Kao – Special to CNN

Why is innovation so important to China? The obvious answer to this question is linked to the importance of economic growth as a driver of social development, a rising standard of living and national eminence.

While China’s growing prosperity is evident, it is worth noting that its GDP is 49% based on manufacturing, a percentage that has held steady for over twenty years. This was described by one senior government official as the result of a “bad deal.” “We make things for the world,” he said, “but we get the pollution, the need to consume natural resources and energy, we get the CO2 emissions and environmental problems.” FULL POST

Post by:
Topics: China • Innovation
China as an innovation nation
John Kao. (Courtesy: John Kao)
September 12th, 2011
08:00 AM ET

China as an innovation nation

Editor's Note: John Kao, dubbed "Mr. Creativity" by The Economist, is the chairman for the institute of large-scale innovation and author of Innovation Nation. You can follow John on TwitterFacebook and at www.johnkao.com. This post is the first of six pieces by John about his recent trip to China. Check back each morning this week at 8am for the next installment.

By John Kao – Special to CNN

I recently had the rare privilege of traveling in China as a member of a U.S. expert panel on Chinese innovation. We were convened by an agreement between the governments of the United States and China to contribute to an “innovation dialogue” that has been underway for the past two years and that is seen as being of strategic interest to both countries.

Our itinerary led us to a broad array of players in the Chinese innovation system, including policy makers at both national and state levels, entrepreneurs, managers of state-owned enterprises, academics, representatives of think tanks and others. It also involved a whirlwind tour of innovation hot spots in Beijing, Nanjing and Shanghai. We visited science parks, venture incubators, corporate labs of multinational companies, as well as start-ups in life sciences and digital media. We also sat down with our Chinese colleagues in a variety of settings, often accompanied by deliriously appetizing cuisine, to discuss the issues at hand.

What has emerged is a rather startling picture of a country on the move, whose drumbeat is...innovation. FULL POST

Post by:
Topics: China • Innovation
September 9th, 2011
04:00 PM ET

How cell phones can expose counterfeit drugs

Editor’s Note: Dr. Ashifi Gogo is the CEO of Sproxil, a company that uses cell phones to protect against counterfeit drugs. This post is part of the Global Innovation Showcase created by the New America Foundation and the Global Public Square.

By Ashifi Gogo - Special to CNN

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), up to 30 percent of drugs sold in developing nations are counterfeit and the World Customs Organization estimates that the counterfeit drug market is $200 billion per year. In addition, up to 50 percent of some medicines in specific developing countries, including Nigeria and Pakistan, are substandard. These substandard drugs, which do not have the correct potency, can lead to a significant healthcare crisis both in terms of number of deaths (700,000 deaths from fake malaria and TB drugs alone, according to an IPN Report) and in terms of spurring drug-resistant diseases. In Ghana, local authorities working with the U.S. Pharmacopeial Convention (USP) and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) discovered fake or substandard versions of thirteen vital anti-malarial drugs spread across multiple locations in the country. FULL POST

Post by:
Topics: Africa • Health • Innovation
September 5th, 2011
11:47 AM ET

Meet a robot sketch comedian

You've probably heard of Watson, the computer that went head-to-head with humans on Jeopardy. You know that robots are increasingly used in manufacturing around the country and around the world. But have you ever heard of a robot sketch comedian?

Well, meet Data. Also joining us is Data's handler, Heather Knight, a doctoral researcher in robotics at Carnegie-Mellon who studies the intersection of entertainment and robotics.

Check out the video for Data's comedy sketch, then read my interview with Heather Knight.

FULL POST

September 2nd, 2011
12:00 PM ET

How to make the perfect French fry

By Amar C. Bakshi, CNN

Nathan Mhyrvold is a polymath inventor and avid chef.  But his kitchen isn't your normal operation. It has "centrifuges and freeze driers and spray driers and rotary evaporators" that he uses to cook and analyze what he cooks.  Mhyrvold studies the science behind cooking, and has written a 2,438 page, $600 book called Modernist Cuisine that is the touchtone for what is known as molecular gastronomy, which melds science and cooking to create incredible concoctions.  In the video above, Mhyrvold describes how to create the perfect French fry. And in the interview transcript below, he also discusses the motivations behind the book and what his kitchen looks like.

FULL POST

Post by:
Topics: Food • Ideas • Innovation
'Death Star' laser zaps mosquitoes, curbs malaria
Laser kills mosquito in flight. (Intellectual Ventures)
August 31st, 2011
11:47 AM ET

'Death Star' laser zaps mosquitoes, curbs malaria

Who is Nathan Myhrvold? Well, one way to describe him would be the former chief technology officer of Microsoft, the scientific brains of that company for 14 years.

I think Nathan qualifies for the term "boy genius." He began college at age 14, studied geophysics at UCLA, got a master's in mathematical economics at Princeton, and then simultaneously worked on a Ph.D. in physics at the same university - all done by the age of 23. He then spent a year working with Stephen Hawking, who many regard as the greatest theoretical physicist alive. He left the academy at that point and started his own company.

After leaving Microsoft, he has used his considerable fortune to fund scientific research of all kinds - archaeological excavations, a radio telescope, a new engine. He has a company called Intellectual Ventures that funds inventors and buys their inventions and patents. His company holds more than 20,000 patents. And every year, the company files 500 patent applications.

Amar Bakshi talked to Nathan Myhrvold about one particularly exciting project involving super-fast lasers.

FULL POST

Post by:
Topics: Development • Global • Health • Innovation
Bendable electronics will revolutionize healthcare
An ultrathin, electronic patch with the mechanics of skin, applied to the wrist for EMG and other measurements. (Courtesy: John Rogers )
August 23rd, 2011
01:15 PM ET

Bendable electronics will revolutionize healthcare

Editor's Note: Ben Schlatka is VP of Business Development and co-founder and Professor John Rogers, University of Illinois Urbana-Champagne, is co-founder of mc10, a company that makes bendable electronics. This post is part of the Global Innovation Showcase created by the New America Foundation and the Global Public Square.

By Ben Schlatka and John Rogers - Special to CNN

While ubiquitous, powerful, small electronics have spurred a mobile revolution that has changed the ways we consume, communicate and exchange information, these devices remain encased in rigid enclosures, greatly limiting how we interact with them.

Now, new classes of ‘soft’ electronics that can bend, stretch, twist and fold like a rubber band are set to completely change the old paradigms. These innovations have implications across many industries, but there will be a particularly strong impact in health care – from wellness and fitness to chronic disease management.

Imagine a world in which electronics live outside of rigid, square boxes and can naturally bend and flex like human skin.  These systems can integrate directly with the body in ways that are virtually invisible to the user, and provide a natural interface between humans and electronics.  FULL POST

Post by: ,
Topics: Health • Innovation
Using social media for disease surveillance
August 18th, 2011
12:00 PM ET

Using social media for disease surveillance

Editor's Note: Dr. John Brownstein works at the Children’s Hospital in Boston on public health surveillance. This post is part of the Global Innovation Showcase created by the New America Foundation and the Global Public Square.

By John Browstein – Special to CNN

In late 2002, a financial report from a Chinese pharmaceutical company noted a strange increase in emergency room visits in Guangdong Province for acute respiratory illness. A flurry of local news reports of a respiratory disease among healthcare workers emerged, while online there was buzz of an unusual outbreak in Guangzhou. It took several long weeks before the government announced the illnesses were due to the severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS. If harnessed properly, early epidemic intelligence collected online could have helped contain what later became a global pandemic. FULL POST

Post by:
Topics: Global • Health • Innovation
How a 20-minute HIV test could save millions of lives
The new mChip test is the size of a credit card and can test for a host of diseases within minutes. (Getty Images)
August 15th, 2011
12:00 PM ET

How a 20-minute HIV test could save millions of lives

Editor's Note: Jamie Holmes is a policy analyst in the Global Assets Project at the New America Foundation. This post is part of the Global Innovation Showcase created by the New America Foundation and the Global Public Square.

By Jamie Holmes - Special to CNN

Five years ago, hundreds of protesters took to the streets in Kenya in tribute to a murdered 15-year-old orphan boy, Isaiah Gakuyo. An uncle had apparently stabbed Isaiah with a pitchfork because the boy was HIV positive - the child’s mother and grandmother had both passed away from AIDS-related diseases.

As a UNICEF spokesperson put it at the time, “The stigma attached to children living with HIV/AIDS is really an untold story....It’s not only that they’ve been victimized by others outside their families. They are sometimes victimized by their own families.”

FULL POST

Post by:
Topics: Development • Health • Innovation
« older posts
newer posts »