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The Dragon and the Elephant: Understanding the Development of Innovation Capacity in China and India - Summary of a Conference
and manufacturing segments. This phenomenon is represented by the involvement of indigenous enterprises in early stage research, laboratory services, and especially clinical trials. In India, the evolution of the intellectual property regime for pharmaceuticals has fostered strength in process technology and manufacturing, evident in the growth of the generic pharmaceutical industry. Now some of those firms are venturing into the development of innovative products. China has opportunities to capitalize on knowledge of traditional medicines and on a rapidly growing biomedical research enterprise to contribute to the development of new pharmaceuticals.
Energy production in China and India was discussed in the context of two forces—on the one hand, rapidly growing demand fueled by domestic economic growth and, on the other hand, international pressures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to decelerate global warming. In China demand has been met largely by expansion of coal-fired power generation capacity at an unprecedented rate. In the future there is prospect for some diversification, with nuclear, hydro and wind power playing a greater role. Accounting for a large share of the world’s new power generation capacity over the next few decades, China is poised to become the lowest price producer and therefore the global manufacturing base for energy technology, which could include clean coal technologies as well as alternatives to fossil fuels.
Although the conference revealed few, if any, examples of Chinese- or Indian-origin globally important next-generation products or services, it was acknowledged that that may have been a function of hindsight or the selection of industries for discussion. Regardless, most participants agreed that as a function of their sheer size and dynamism, the Chinese economy in the near term and perhaps the Indian economy in a somewhat longer timeframe will have a much more profound impact on the United States than did Japan’s growth in the 1980s. Participants were less clear about how the United States should respond other than to place a much greater premium on improvements in education, expansion of research, access to foreign-born talent, international collaboration, and strategic planning in an environment of rapid change.