Research, Technology and Innovation: The Bedrock for Global Development

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DOI: 10.21522/TIJAR.2014.03.01.Art028

Authors : Emmanuel O Chukwu


The above three concepts are a product of scientific ideas. Global development can only be achieved with solid reliance on research, technology and innovation. The three concepts represents the only way for developing the world in order to foster economic, education, environmental, medical and societal development at large (Cramer and Zegveld, 1991). Development in science and technology are fundamentally altering the way people live, connect, communicate and transact, with profound effects on economic development (Lee-Roy, 2012). According to V. Samuel cited in Jubel (2012), ‘Science is the key which unlocks for humankind the store houses of nature’. Obsessed by the quest to improve his life; to add values and make a paradigm shift in nature, a global change has smiled to the prevailing efforts of man. He has not just learnt how to cut stones in to blocks but how to use them in a better published form to build edifices. This is development!

A sweep in to the history of the computer system marshals out litanies of stages that the computing system had undergone before it came to the taste of the modern man. Right from the times of the ancient Babylon which is now known as ‘Iraq’, the so-called abacus machine was invented, one of the earliest devices used by the primitive man to improve his state of living, calculation. He was not satisfied by this innovation; he enthusiastically delved more in to research and found out that addition and subtraction could be better done using a machine which was named after the inventor, ‘Napier bone’ by John Napier, precisely in 1614. This technological advancement and product of research work was spiced by the innovation of the inquisitive man.

Hovering round your mind now is how and if these changes have helped in global development. I crave your indulgence to exercise patience for a brief prelude and chronicle of the modern technology which could serve as a frame work to illustrate the above topic under discourse. So, in 1623, a German professor of the University of Tubingen in Germany, Wilhelm Schikeard constructed the first mechanical calculator which worked only with six digits. Advancement in technological innovation is here again! Yet, man was not satisfied with this as his curiosity still dragged him to the idea of research using his curious mind. It was in 1642 that a French philosopher called Blaise Paschal invented a machine that was named after him, the ‘Paschal Calculator’. He actually invented it to help his father who was a tax collector. Here, we could see how innovations served human problems.

History yawned happily on us when the great British mathematician, Charles Babbage in the 19th century (1820 and 1821) worked out the principles of the modern digital computer. This great intellectual introduced an idea that helped to solve complicated mathematical problems. Historians believe that Babbage and his group were the first people to invent the modern digital computer.

With the advancement of Information and Communication Technology (ICT), this is of course the conception of an innovation, pieces of material like journals, articles, updates etc could serve all and sundry as well as students well when they hunger for information. On the internet we find unadulterated definition of scientific work as pieces of vital information compete for web space for the person who makes a research work.

The nucleus of this research work is technology, while the vital force behind its advancement is innovation, which is man’s usage of his idea! As I set my fingers scrolling up and down the screen of my personal computer (PC) now is as a result of technology, the computer system; whereas the installed information that I source for is a result of an intellectually articulated innovative idea as well as a confirmed research work.

To then ask, ponder or wonder how these enormous and numerous scientific works have become the bedrock of global development is like contemplating whether a monkey eats banana. The result of this is obvious! Today, we talk and experience globalization. Is it not development, stemming up from research, technology and human innovation?

One of the phenomena identified as the major dynamics of change and consequent global development in the 21st century is globalization. The term ‘globalization’ precisely describes the process of increasing interconnection between societies such that events in one part of the world have effects on peoples and societies far away. Thus, in an angular perspective, we can say that a globalized world is a developed world. It is one in which political, economical, social, educational and cultural events become more and more interconnected, and also one in which the impacts of these events in one society affects extensively the lives of people in other societies.

We won’t be outside the track (this topic) to understand into to the concept of globalization, as it would form a tapestry on which the colored thread of this write-up could be woven. Therefore, what is globalization? In this context, we shall approach the definition using two (among five) of Fongwan Severin’s delineation.

According to Fongwan (2013), globalization could be considered as universalization. In this link, the word ‘global’ is used in the sense of being ‘worldwide’ and globalization is seen as the process of spreading various objects and experiences to people at all corners of the earth. A classic example of this would be the spread of computing, television, etc.

In the second delineation, globalization could be equated with internalization. In this context, globalization is viewed simply as an adjective to describe cross-border relations between countries. It describes growth in international exchange and interdependence. Therefore, with growing flows of trade and capital investment, development is defined.


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