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Swedes name China most innovative in future

Vivian Tse · 5 Dec 2010, 17:25

Published: 05 Dec 2010 17:25 GMT+01:00

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Anglo-Swedish pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca interviewed 6,000 people in six countries, the US, Japan, England, Sweden, China and India, for its major innovation study.

It asked them which countries they believed were the most innovative currently and which they viewed would be the most innovative in 2020.

Twenty-seven percent of Swedes perceived Japan as the most innovative presently, followed by 17 percent who chose the US. Only 5 percent put Sweden at the top, the study showed. However, 24 percent of Swedes believed that China will take over as the world's most innovative country by 2020.

"Our survey gives a fascinating picture of how people look at innovations in different parts of the world. I am also pleased that the survey shows that public perceptions of innovation and creativity are strongly associated with science and medicine," AstraZeneca CEO David Brennan said in a statement on Sunday.

Swedes believe IT and telecommunications will top the industries that will dominate future innovations, with 59 percent choosing the sectors over pharmaceuticals at 39 percent.

Separately, 19 percent of Swedes chose electricity and 17 percent antibiotics as the greatest innovations over the past hundred years.

Overall, all respondents in the six countries predicted China will become the world's most innovative country by 2020. Second on the list is India, while the US and Japan are expected to move down to third and fourth respectively.

China and India boast strong optimism in terms of their abilities to develop through innovation, contrary to the perceptions of residents in western countries.

The study also shows a clear difference between east and west in its outlook on the major scientific advances and innovations of the last century. Residents of India, China and Japan believe that the greatest achievement of the 20th century is rapid global communication.

However, Brits and Swedes look more towards victories in the fight against serious diseases as the most important achievement. The first moon landing, shorter global travel times and the increased global average lifespan are regarded as far less important than those two feats.

A total of 30 percent of respondents think that the US is currently the world's most innovative country, followed by Japan (25 percent) and China (14 percent). Only 3 percent overall regard Sweden as the most innovative country.

Story continues below…

The US is also regarded as the country where the highest level of support is given to innovative individuals and companies.

The internet, computers and electricity were viewed as the most important innovations in the last 100 years. However, respondents in the US, Britain and Sweden also put equal emphasis on the discovery of vaccines and antibiotics.

The rise of the internet was also seen as the innovation that had the biggest impact, with 29 percent choosing it overall, but dominating views from China and Japan, with 42 percent and 43 percent of respondents choosing it respectively.

The most innovative sector overall was considered IT and telecommunications, followed by pharmaceuticals and automotives.

Vivian Tse (vivian.tse@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

06:19 December 6, 2010 by wenddiver
Based on what recent invention? The Scram Jet, the I-Pod, the I-Pad, the TV, the VCR, the DVD, the Internet, mobile phone, Coke zeroe, the Filtered Cigarette, the micro-wave oven, canned beer, the running shoe, anesthisia, bi-focals, the A bomb, the turbo charger, the Super charger, spell check, the eraser, the nylons, the push up bra, Jazz, Bloes, Country Music, Hip Hop, Rapp, Rock and Roll, tupper ware, Baggies, the Lap top computer, the Personal computer, the moterized ship, the repeating rifle, No wax X-Country Skis, the School Shooting, gum, the Electric Guitar and Key board, Stereo, the airial lazer, the Nuclear Sub, Penecillin, the Turduken, the Cheetoh, most of modern medicine, interchangable parts and the Production line are all American. What do you use in your house in Sweden that was invented in China or India in the last two hundred or so years??? How often do you lok for a club that has modern Chinese music or search for an Indian movie, because you think the male lead is hot.
10:37 December 6, 2010 by hilt_m
Seriously, China and India? Seems the people interviewed have confused mass production with invention. The rise of the internet, well that is China out right there and the IT sector yes it may be big in India but it's mainly in the call sector areas. What a stupid study...
10:52 December 6, 2010 by miss79
i tot china n indonesia..china goverment is rich but corrupted too..india well like hilt_m said has technologies..n indonesia they have coal and some other natural resources..n i think china is buying it from indonesia
10:53 December 6, 2010 by Nemesis
@ Wenddiver.

Bit of a history lesson. The printing press and gunpowder were invented in China. Without the printing press, none of the inventions you mention would have happened.

China is now building massive research centers and increasing its ependiture into Research and Development, year on year. China is training more scietnists than the US and Europe combined.
11:52 December 6, 2010 by Horace
Turbocharger is Swiss invention according to Wikipedia.

Assembly line is not really invented by one person. But its earliest history dates back to the Terracotta Army, Qin Dynasty, China.
14:59 December 7, 2010 by Nemesis
@ Wenddiver,

Some corrections to your obviously wrong list of who invented what.

The Scram Jet, based on seized engine theories from Nazi Germany.

the TV, Mostly Scotland, France, Germany and England. Most of the groundwork of TV was in the 1800's by Willoughby Smith when researching the element selenium. His work led to the development of photoelectric cells, telegraph cables and televisions.

the DVD, was invented and developed by Philips, Sony, Toshiba, and Time Warner in 1995, in Japan, USA, UK, Germany, Netherlands, etc.

the running shoe, Germans.

anesthisia, Hellenistic Greeks, Babylonians, Ancient India, Egyptians, all before the year zero.

bi-focals, Medieval Europe.

the A bomb, German Jews.

the turbo charger, invented by the engineer Alfred Büchi from Switzerland.

the Super charger, German engineer Gottlieb Daimler, in 1885.

spell check, Yup USA, invented by IBM/Gerogetown uni.

the eraser, Purely english invention, namely Priestly and Naire.

Jazz, Bloes, Tell that to a lot of Africans.

the moterized ship, Definately England.

the repeating rifle, Russia, Germany, France, UK, Netherlands, Italy, Spain, Austria.

the School Shooting, Definately a US invention.

gum, US invention.

Stereo, Clément Ader from France.

Penicillin was invented by a Scottish scientist and Nobel prize winner called Alexander Fleming in 1928

most of modern medicine, Mostly western Europe.

Production lines were in operation in Alexandria and Rhodes before the Romans invaded as well as in China.
18:14 December 10, 2010 by Bettysenior
Our Institution since 1992 has been telling the world about the dire threat of China - http://thewif.org.uk (newsletters). The reason for this is that economic wars (and Innovation is the catalyst) are far more deadly than conventional wars, for they go on in perpetuity. For one of our members Jian Song, the vice-premier of China for 13 years developed the 'blueprint' that china embarked upon 20 years ago. This same blueprint dictated that to take the high ground China had to become the most innovative nation in the world. Now with US$2 trillion plus of reserves and counting (its exports in November increased by 35%), China's strategy will get there. Not pie-in-the-sky, but sheer common sense now.

Considering the above it is about time that totally 'independent' bodies with no vested interests were listened too. In this respect we have also been telling western governments that the only way to defeat China is to develop the ORE STEM Complex, because only something this huge with stop China making most countries subservient to them. A strategy supported by our late President Nobel laureate Glenn T. Seaborg (Element 106 Seaborgium).

Dr David Hill

World Innovation Foundation Charity

Bern, Switzerland
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