Delivering on the Promise of Bioeconomy in the Developing World: Link It with Social Innovation and Education
In developing countries where numerous factors such as rapid population growth and entrenched social problems hinder equitable economic growth and education, research and development (R&D) are often neglected as well. But the importance of R&D extends beyond science. The capacity to generate and advance their scientific scholarship is important for all countries – for such independent scientific thinking skills might also empower the citizens’ capacity and will to think democratically in a global interdependent world. Social innovation is explained here as a form of responsible innovation that brings together funders, scientists, and knowledge user communities to address long-standing and/or entrenched societal problems. Moreover, in social innovation, the user communities such as citizens can also contribute to the scientific design and funding beyond a passive role to merely adopt innovations developed by scientific experts. The overall success of developing nations thus rests on building successful linkages of the education ecosystem with social innovation and bioeconomy. To this end, E-learning endeavors and the virtual biotechnology labs are novel initiatives that are rapidly transforming society in the developing world. Distance education and E-learning and open learning endeavors are certainly advantageous for the resource-limited developing countries, where the numbers of potential learners are much higher than the number of well-experienced teachers and educational institutes capable of providing the required infrastructures for basic and advanced scientific education. India, in particular, has had strikingly innovative and forward-looking investments in biotechnology distributed learning practices that can illuminate the global society of scientists and citizens. In this chapter we will highlight the fundamental need and present scenario of virtual laboratories in advanced sophisticated life science education in the developing world.
KeywordsAwareness Bioeconomy Developing world E-learning Virtual labs
The financial support from the Sakshat project of National Mission on Education through ICT, Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD), for the establishment of Virtual Proteomics Laboratory 10MHRD005 and Clinical Proteomics Remote Triggering Virtual Laboratory 11MHRD005 is gratefully acknowledged. We thank the Chancellor of Amrita University, Sri Mata Amritanandamayi Devi, for invaluable discussions and insights on India’s E-learning initiatives and the growing role for public engagement in understanding technology future(s).
The authors declare no competing interests.
- Allen IE, Seaman J (2010) Class differences: online education in the United States, Newburyport. Sloan Consortium (2010), ERIC Number: ED529952, 1–30, Available from: sloanconsortium.orgGoogle Scholar
- Clinton HR (2010) Foreign Aff 89:13Google Scholar
- Diwakar S, Achuthan K, Nedungadi P et al (2012) Biotechnology virtual labs: facilitating laboratory access anytime-anywhere for classroom education. In: Innovations in biotechnology. Academic Press, New York, pp 379–398. ISBN: 978-953-51-0096-6, InTech. Available from: http://www.intechopen.com/books/innovations-in-biotechnology/biotechnology-virtual-labs-facilitatinglaboratory-access-anytime-anywhere-for-classroom-education
- Diwakar S, Radhamani R, Sasidharakurup H et al (2014a) Usage and diffusion of biotechnology virtual labs for enhancing University education in India’s urban and rural areas. In: E-learning as a socio-cultural system: a multidimensional analysis. Information Science Reference, Hershey, pp 63–83. doi: 10.4018/978-1-4666-6154-7
- European Commission, Europe (2011) EU-Wide Targets, 2020. Available from: http://ec.europa.eu/europe2020/targets/eu-targets/index_en.htm
- Flowers OL (2011) Investigating the effectiveness of virtual laboratories in an undergraduate biology course. J Hum Resour Adult Learn 7:110–116, ISBN: 18172105Google Scholar
- Nair B, Krishnan R, Nizar N et al (2012) Role of ICT-enabled visualization-oriented virtual laboratories in universities for enhancing biotechnology education – VALUE initiative: case study and impacts. FormaMente 7:209–229, ISBN: 1970-7118Google Scholar
- National Science Foundation, Advisory Committee for Cyberinfrastructure (ACCI) Task Force Reports, in 2014.Google Scholar
- Radhamani R, Sasidharakurup H, Kumar D et al (2014a) Explicit interactions by users form a critical element in virtual labs aiding enhanced education - a case study from biotechnology virtual labs. In: IEEE T4E. doi: 10.1109/T4E.2014.37