I had yet another really boring dream. This time, the van ran out of diesel in Wiltshire. I got the spare fuel tank and walked to a nearby garage. Came back, filled it up, it worked.
And my citizenship application has been approved, so I am just one singing of the national anthem away from officially being a Kiwi.
EDIT: Just got caught in an icy shower. It was cold enough that the scars on my face started hurting, which is a new and entirely unpleasant experience.
And this week’s editorial:
THE CLEVER COUNTRY
Just as globalisation is changing where we make goods, it is changing where we do research, concludes a large study on ‘The Internationalization of Corporate R&D’ (see http://www.itps.se/Items/Textmall.asp?itemId=2274&secId=1035) carried out by the Swedish Institute for Growth Policy Studies. Research is less globalised than manufacturing, but that is rapidly increasing.
We have a tendency in New Zealand to want to do things ourselves, witness the kerfuffle over Icebreaker and others moving production overseas, or of Navman being bought by Brunswick. In contrast, the Swedes are quite proud that over 40% of their research is foreign-controlled. So what if Swedes don’t own the IP? The research work is still done in Sweden, employing scientists and helping Sweden build critical mass in the research areas that Sweden does best.
Why is Sweden so successful at getting other nations to pay Swedes to do research for them? They have the usual technological and regulatory enablers, great ICT and transport links, clear and lightweight laws governing innovation and commercialisation, but lots of nations have that these days. What gives Sweden an edge? The authors point to five areas where they need to stay ahead:
1. Ensure the quality of the education and research system
2. Create conditions for excellent R&D and innovation environments
3. Develop proactive strategies for R&D internationalisation
4. Develop stronger national attraction policies
5. Support the inflow of foreign talent and international skills of domestic students
One advantage, according to the study, is a basic one – the quality of their education system. The Swedes spend far more, per child, than almost any other nation. Correspondingly, Swedes have more PhDs than any other nation. 30% of those are in science and engineering. New Zealand is below OECD averages for all those measures. The other advantage is that research is a winner-take all market. Researchers and research companies head for clusters, cities and countries renowned for their research strength. Sweden spends 4% of GDP on research; New Zealand spends 1.16%. Who do you think is going to win?