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The Two Innovation Economies: Follower and Frontier

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Can China lead the way on innovation?

For 250 years, technological innovation has driven economic development. New technologies have not merely lowered the cost of producing and delivering goods and services that already are available. They have reconstructed the physical and information architecture of the market economy and enabled the production and delivery of goods and services previously unimaginable. As Arthur C. Clarke famously wrote: “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”

From the mechanization of industrial production and the canals and railways of the first industrial revolution through the application of science to industry and the deployment of telecommunications networks during the second industrial revolution to the digital ICT revolution of the past fifty years, technology has created a succession of genuinely New Economies.

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