Innovation for development
An atlas of the world will often display levels of income and poverty, graphically illustrating the huge variations in economic well-being around the globe. Life expectancy and infant mortality maps show similar patterns. If we were to make maps that represented such things as expenditures on innovation, levels of patenting, or uptake of the latest technologies, we would find that these all correlated closely – though certainly not perfectly! – with the economic and health maps. Of course, richer countries have more resources to devote on, and to, innovation; but innovation is in part what has helped these countries achieve their levels of income, to address questions of public health, and so on. Can innovation trajectories be directed more toward the pressing needs of the developing world and especially the poorest countries? Can these countries become (and be helped to become) more innovative in ways that will help them solve their own problems? These, and related, issues are explored further under this theme.