Sunday, November 25, 2007

European Union Gears for Lead in Future Economics

The idea of a knowledge economist is to make understanding of the power of knowledge easier for the general public. These economists, knowledge economists, are doing a fine job in the European Union. The European Union clearly understands the future, hence the introduction of 4bn Euro fund to help to give grants to exceptional research. European Fund for High end Research.

This clearly is the way to stay forward and ahead of the competition when it comes to knowledge. Understanding knowledge has shifted my original views that government should be completely out of the economy, after all wise men change their minds. As Lao Tzu said, if we are stiff we break, we have to bend and that way we are open to new ideas.

It is the duty of governments to make sure societies compete, grants are not subsidies, this is for pure research, things that hopefully will become products for the betterment of mankind. As this research is blue sky, it means that for now it is not financially sound, why is it not financially sound and then we will understand why the government must play a role.

There are essentially three types of research, and the riskiest type of research is when people attempt to discover new laws of existence. The second riskiest type of research is when there are known laws of existence and we would like to turn those into products, and the least riskiest type of research involves researching into products, this type of research being the least riskiest is where corporations are involved in, because there is a bigger chance of receiving a reward. The types of research are discussed more intensely on pages 13 – 15 in the following paper Research and Investment.

Blue sky research could be associated with the first two types of research. Being the riskiest type of research and with few corporations willing to undertake such research, the government can not be morally challenged for financing such type of research otherwise this research will not be undertaken. Initial genetic research took place in universities for example because corporations could never understand what it would be worth. Having being blue sky research in the 1950’s, genetic research is now being carried out by corporations because now that the threshold level of knowledge has been crossed it is worthwhile for corporations to involve themselves as there is now commercial viability.

Today, there is great talk of private companies being involved in the space exploration and tourism sector, this was not so in the 1950’s – 1980’s, space was too risky and the government had to be the major player. Now research into space has been carried out and with what humans know, corporations now feel they can be involved in the space industry in a big way, beyond satellites that had to be first launched by a Soviet government.

A fund does not have to be 4bn Euro, it can be 10 million Euro’s or dollars for a smaller economies, what is important is that knowledge is taken seriously. Without knowledge been taken seriously people will leave and try to go where they can be stimulated. Simply put scientists in a land are to be treasured, the less developed countries of the world are that way simply because they have absolutely no respect for knowledge, instead they believe in superstition, knowledge has to be gathered by the mind, if people fight the mind then that society will collapse. The European Union in this regard is certainly showing the way.

Bhekuzulu Khumalo

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Bhekuzulu Khumalo

I write about knowledge economics, information, liberty, and freedom