a network of technology alliances. Governments will provide oversight and strategic direction. The impact on developing countries will be enormous. With the help of new technologies, Third World countries can transform their raw materials and energy into value-added commodities and thereby accelerate economic development without dysfunctional effects. It is the responsibility of developed countries, Colombo concludes, to see that this happens.
Though desirable, the alliances proposed by Colombo are not easily established. As Gerald Dinneen points out in his paper on trends in international technological cooperation, international arrangements, whether they be international marketing organizations, joint ventures, or creation of subsidiaries, are necessary if industries are to get a proper return on investment and remain competitive. However, the “not-invented-here” syndrome, differences in standards, lack of protocols for transmission of data, and especially protectionist sentiment prevent companies and countries from collaborating. Despite these barriers, Dinneen says, international labs and exchanges of scholars and students in schools of engineering have been effective mechanisms for fostering international cooperation.
Presenting the European perspective on technological cooperation, Harry Beckers comments on the impacts of the dissimilarities in the ways academicians and business people conduct research as well as differences in R&D support in the United States, Western Europe, and Japan. Western Europe, he says, faces the unique difficulties posed by its diversity and nationalistic tendencies. Nevertheless, there are a number of EEC programs that facilitate international cooperation among various countries, thereby helping to bring about “Europeanization” in the technology sector.
Papers on three of today’s most crucial technologies—software, materials science, and information technologies—illustrate how the nature of the technologies themselves has created a global environment for research and applications despite the barriers mentioned above. George Pake describes a number of key advances in software: architecture of hardware systems used for software development; advances in writing, editing, running, and debugging of software; development of different programming languages; and systematic forward planning and task analysis. The creativity so evident in software technology today is not in danger, Pake says, despite the trend toward greater standardization and the possibility that ossification of the development system could occur in the future.
Pierre Aigrain addresses several provocative questions about materials, particularly pertaining to the rate at which discoveries are made, the extent to which applications are found, and the impact of these discoveries on industry and society. Citing the influence of the market and the continued interaction between science and materials research, Aigrain predicts that the rapid trajectory of materials discovery will continue. However, processing