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Technological Innovations in Developing Countries and the Lack Thereof

Updated on January 12, 2015

In Economics, efficiency in manufacturing goods determines the success of firms. Development of technology (i.e. technological innovation) will improve the manufacturing process in utilizing every material needed for production; therefore, reduces total cost giving more space for profit. Innovative technology comes from the developed countries, such as the United States and Japan, and unfortunately very infrequent in developing countries. What could be the reason behind this?

Limited Knowledge and Innovation

Limited knowledge obstructs people to explore technological innovations and possibilities. If quality of education provided is not sufficient, it would be difficult for us to harness our maximum potential. In developing countries, education may not be given full attention because they might prioritize other concerns such as repaying international debt. This results to inadequacy of funds that may lead to scarcity of classrooms, books and even teachers.

Financial instability paralyzes the oppurtunities of eager learners in pursuing higher level of education. Fortunately, there are still a few who finish their academic endeavors with a degree, despite all these financial obstructions. However, problems do not stop there. Unavailability of research materials further hinders them to take plight in building striking technological innovations. In some national libraries and universities of developing countries, books are not updated and replenished due to the scarcity of budget; hence, students of are becoming very limited on research materials.

Incompetence and Innovation

Another factor on why innovation may not progress in developing countries is incompetence. Procrastination transcends the passion of innovators to build something unique and out of the ordinary. There are some people with brilliant ideas who consume their time in remaining idle and unprogressive; thus, instead of these ideas becoming great innovations in technology and other business aspects, they remain intangible and unrealizable.

Lack of creativity may also play part in limiting capability in creating business innovations. Some don't pursue to explore beyond the boundaries surrounding them, and so they tend to imitate the products of others or, in some cases, just alter them in a small way. These are clear signs of imcompetence existing among them. Furthermore, excessively high dependence on the technological advancements of the developing countries, threatens innovators to invent new machines or gadgets. This serves as their excuse for not pioneering in the development of new technologies. They heavily dread that their work would just end up being inferior to those of the developed countries’. As a consequence, these hindrances lower the morale of these aspiring innovators; thus, may bring them to the path of incompetency.

Have you thought of something brilliant but ended up ignoring them because of limited means?

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Lack of Funds for Innovations

Some technological builders come up with earth-shattering breakthroughs; however, insufficient funds put every effort into the gutter. Due to other priorities, the government may give low or, at most times, not give financial support at all. When this happens, some innovators tend to get discouraged, and then decide not to pursue the brilliant breakthrough anymore.

However, there are still some who would search for another option just to achieve their dreams. They approach firms or organizations that could sponsor and provide funds to their recent findings. Unfortunately, they just turn them down for the reason that they could not afford to gamble on such things, especially with the persisting economic recession. Subsequently, innovators would have no choice but to spend their personal funds; nonetheless, these would not be enough to shoulder the overall expenses, which may approximately amount to over a million. These financial difficulties force the innovators to discontinue the development of their supposed latest discoveries. Agapito Flores, who first discovered the fluorescent lamp, was first denied of support due to the lack of funds during President Manuel Quezon’s term. This rejection had put Flores in the verge of giving up, until someone offered him help. If the America’s General Electric Company did not provide any support to Flores, the fluorescent lamp would not have existed. In this regard, financial means play a significant role in progressing technological innovations.

Call For Innovation

In countries deemed as "developing", innovative breakthroughs progress slowly. The dull development is due to several factors that can be mostly associated with the economic flux. Innovators are restricted with their inadequate knowledge and further hindered by incompetence and scarcity of funds. As a result, these lead to the discouragement of developers, including the aspirants, to present new innovations for the people and the world.

This is why despite all these, we should continue pursuing unique ideas that come across our minds. Who knows, maybe you'll be the next greatest inventor? What we only have to do on our part is to take some courage and be resourceful. Yes, it may be an extremely difficult path, but at the end, there would be a pot of gold. And when we reach that part, we would say that everything was all worth it!

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    • yougotme profile image
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      Renz Kristofer Cheng 4 years ago from Manila

      Thank you very much for sharing a piece of insight molometer! Yup, I agree. Usually giving of grants has some priorities to follow with. And they often "play safe" by allocating a huge chunk into educational institutions and less to the "risky" undertakings. Thanks again for dropping by! :)

    • molometer profile image

      molometer 4 years ago

      It certainly is a tricky topic to try to describe in such a short space. Developing countries have many challenges which you point out here.

      Many times grants and funds are available from other countries but these usually are funneled through universities and not much for the individual innovator.

      Sharing this hub socially.

    • yougotme profile image
      Author

      Renz Kristofer Cheng 4 years ago from Manila

      Thanks for the feedback Andera! I really am interested on the topics of Development Economics. It's one of those classes I took that I really enjoyed so much. (Probably, that's because I live in a developing country, and the topics discussed are highly relevant with the development issues we face).

      Anyway, I really believe in the potential of every developing country since there are great ideas everywhere (and innovations start from these ideas)! But you are right, developing countries should aspire to have an environment where these ideas will be given chances. It's unfortunate that some brilliant ideas tend to end up in the gutter and get neglected. Who knows, maybe those wasted ideas might have been the solution to mitigate economic issues and predicaments?

    • Andera profile image

      Andera 4 years ago

      Thanks for bringing us this insightful article. It looks like you really tried to explore the underlying of notions of development economics.

      The reasons you outlined really give some perspective to the whole concept of innovation.

      Besides a creative spark from an inventor, there needs to be a highly functional environment for it to ignite, or else, no groundbreaking discoveries or inventions can be made.

      Behind all the geniuses, all their names, there were investors, engineers and other people who believed in their vision and decided to move in the same direction. A situation where they all come together is only possible in a society that values individual freedom and does not impose great boundaries on people's lives.

      That's something people in developing countries should aspire to, and those who were lucky to be born in such societies can't take for granted.

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