Innovation Investment for Developing Economies

November 11, 2011 By Aminda

Recently, announcements have been made of major funding going towards innovation to advance human welfare around the globe. The Gates Foundation has agreed to invest in governmental research and development of new products and technologies to help with global health and agriculture in the developing world. The Foundation, along withChina’s Ministry of Science and Technology are expected to invest $300 million through the course of the project.

A Chinese news article quoted Vice-Minister Zhang Laiwu as saying “Innovation to advance human welfare is a goal thatChina shares with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and together we can do more to improve agriculture and health in some of the poorest nations worldwide.” Bill Gates, co-chair of the foundation said “this partnership demonstrates the critical role that rapidly growing countries like China can play in driving innovation to reduce hunger and poverty.”

Another $150 million has been donated to establish the Stanford Institute for Innovation in Developing Economies, which will “seek to stimulate and spread research and management techniques for healthcare, transportation, agriculture, banking, communications and other sectors in poor countries. Faculty and students are expected to work in the field to support local groups in Africa, Asia,Latin America and other regions. “We believe that innovation and entrepreneurship are the engines of growth to lift people out of poverty”, said the donor, alumni and silicon valley investor.

With cloud computing opening up the digital economy to billions of citizens in places such as Chinaand India, the resulting innovation could be significant. A Forbes writer encourages thought-leadership from developed countries to aid access to efficient computing solutions in developing nations. An article predicts that increased mobility will “fuel innovation from previously unlikely corners of the world, and celebrate the global technology revolution that’s just beginning.”

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