Towards Integration or Fragmentation?
Edited by Henri Delanghe, Ugur Muldur and Luc Soete
Chapter 13: The European Research Area and Human Resources in Science and Technology
Wendy Hansen For the times they are a-changin’. (Bob Dylan) 1 GLOBALIZATION AND HUMAN RESOURCES IN S&T Human capital has a powerful and critical role in the knowledge-based economy. Highly skilled scientists, engineers and researchers drive job creation through innovation and support economic change through the flexibility of skill sets and inter-occupation, sector and country mobility. The exploration of the links between human capital and performance suggests not only that PhDs in science and engineering (S&E) contribute to technological performance but also that variations in PhD ‘strength’ (of numbers) seem to be more important than variations in research and development (R&D) expenditures in high- and medium-high tech manufacturing industries.1 In today’s global marketplace, enabled by technology advances and especially in the case of information technologies, multinationals have the world to choose from for R&D activities. ‘Firms now view parts of the developing world as key sources not only of cheap labour, but also of growth, skills and even new technologies.’2 Labour costs are an important factor for business planners but the availability of a skilled scientific, technical and engineering workforce is a critical element in a location decision strategy that also looks at finance, the regulatory framework and market access. Western knowledge-based economies face growing competition for job creation as countries like China and India evolve from the role of providing low-paid, low-skilled workers for manufacturing and services off-shoring to that of providing a physical environment for innovation and R&D, an environment replete with highly...
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