Thursday, August 15, 2019

Is China Surpassing the U.S. in Intellectual Capital?

The U.S. is losing its intellectual advantages when measured against other emerging nations like fast growing China. Intellectual capacity fuels our economy with new products and services and when this declines economic positions change. China's intellectual capacity seems to be racing at breakneck speed to match U.S. superiority in PhD candidates, scientific publications and patents. To retain the nation's current economic position there must be renewed interest in the development of educational and Ph.D programs to push innovation to the forefront of scientific discovery. Patching holes in the brain drain seems more pressing when we compared to intellectual outputs in other nations.

We live in a complex society that insists on increasing amounts of technology and knowledge to manufacture new products.  According to the article Do We Need More Scientists? in National Affairs there was a serge of investment into science in the 1950's when the USSR launched Sputnik, (Teitelbaum, 2003).  In the 1970's and 80's research institutions warned of the consequences of not having enough scientific capacity. The Dot.Com boom of 1990's again saw shortages of U.S. scientific ability widen and we began to recruit heavily from overseas to narrow that gap.

The U.S. is in a difficult era where significant amounts of our manufacturing shifted to cheaper international locations. Compounding the problem further, our schools are wobbly and don't consistently produce the skill levels needed to foster adequate scientific development. Attracting investment in manufacturing and development rests in part on our ability to develop useful intellectual capacity.

To more clearly discern if we have enough intellectual capital we can look at a couple of markers that include the hiring of doctors from overseas, Ph.D. graduates, scientific publications and patents.

H-1B Visas

Intellectual capital and our ability to general new ideas has always been central to innovation. New ideas are build from study and research that converts into knowledge of the past and ideas on how to solve problems for the future. The U.S. imports intellectual capital through a visa program based business skill needs. H1-B visas, while not always Ph.D. levels, do provide an indication of need for further scientific and technology oriented skills.

According to the Pew Research Center, since 2009 the demand for H-1B Visas have skyrocketed and meet quotas within the first weeks of application dates (Ruiz, 2017). From 2000 to 2018 the U.S. saw business submit work visa applications increase from around 110,000 to 200,000 respectively. Approximately 90% of applications are from the STEM related fields such as computer, math, science, engineering, etc...  Of these applicants 5% are Ph.Ds and 4% are Master Degree holders.

Work visas are a strong indicator that we have such a high demand for certain types of skill and knowledge that we import it.  While many of these recruits have something of value to provide our country they should be used more as a cushion between increased demand and lack of supply. Chronic short-falls in talent should concern stakeholders of industry-education misalignment.

Ph.D. Graduates

OECD reports 68 thousand U.S. PhD (.03 % of population) candidates graduated in 2014 out of 214 million citizens (Gray, 2017; OECD, 2016).  In the same year, Germany had 29k Ph.D. graduates (.035% of population) divided by 81.2 million population.  In contrast, in 2014 China is way behind the long curve by graduating 53,853 new Ph.D graduates (.004% of population) out of 1.364 billion people (Mei, 2018).

When we compare Ph.D graduates of the two countries over a given time-frame we can gain a deeper insight into the nature of the problem. China has a large population of relatively uneducated low-skilled workers. They have increased their PhD. institutions. We can see this change in comparing graduated during a certain time frame. The U.S. graduated 47K Ph.D students in 1998 and 67k in 2014 (OECD, 2016)  China over the same time frame  graduated 7.5 K in 1998 and 53K in 2014 (Mei, 2018).
Scientific Publications

Another way to look at growing innovation is through the eyes of scientific publications. Doctors often publish much more than any other educational group and indicates the presence of scientific activity. Reviewing publications will tell you a lot about which countries are creating and developing some of the most thought provoking advancements. It is those advancements that make the biggest difference.

 The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development indicates that U.S. is growing in scientific publications but China is increasing its intellectual capacity at a much higher rate (OECD, 2016). Between 2003 and 2012 China went from 90K to 400K (+77.5%) highly cited papers. Comparatively the U.S. went from 390K to 590K (+51%) highly cited publications during the time period.

You can see from the chart that it is possible China may have surpassed the U.S in scientific publications. If not yet it wont be long! It is important consider that scientific publications lead to scientific discovery. It also provides some understanding of intellectual and innovative capacity. Much will depend on the quality of the publications for development. 



Patents

Patents help gauge improvement in the protection of intellectual discoveries and innovative products. They often include new products, additions, technologies, and discoveries. In 2014 The U.S. had 615,243 patent submissions and out of these 326,032 patents were granted as original (U.S. Patent and Trade Office, 2016). Comparatively, China in 2014 submitted a whopping 964,859 patent applications and was awarded 246,895 patent grants (WIPO, 2019).

While the U.S. is still producing the most patents in the world, the Chinese are trending up quickly. For example in 2008 the U.S had 185,224 patent approvals and in 2014 that number increased to 326,032 (U.S. Patent & Trademark Office, 2016). Comparatively, China in 2008 had 2,329 patent approvals and in 2014 earned a whopping 246,895 patent approvals (Wipo, 2019).
How can we Improve U.S. Intellectual Capital?

1. Rethink Education. Education is vital to today's success as an individual and as a nation. We are not graduating enough people with STEM skills and must rely on importing that talent from overseas. The need to use education to prepare Industrial Era factory talent has been replaced by Big Data Era demand for higher order thinking skills. Our schools will need to set the preparation work in the early stages of life and foster them throughout people's lives.

2. Cultural Adjustments. We should think of science as an essential aspect of our lives. Move scientific thinking from the periphery of learning to its center. Exposure brings awareness of the influence of science to the general public. When people are exposed to science in popular media, formal education and within their daily lives more critical ways of viewing the world occur.

3. Adjust the Labor Market and Incentives. Most students don't like math, logic, and all the different components that make their way into fields of science. While we may not be able to control how people feel we can better ensure that those with science degrees can find jobs. Companies that import new talent through the H1-B visa programs should first consider American talent before engaging in international recruitment.

Mei, Y. (2018). Transformation and trend of doctoral education in China and Poland (1980s-2010s) A comparative study. 21st Century Pedegogy, I (47-60). https://www.degruyter.com/downloadpdf/j/ped21.2018.1.issue-1/ped21-2018-0008/ped21-2018-0008.pdf

OECD (2016). OECD Science, Technology and Innovation Outlook 2016.  Retrieved June 27th, 2019 from https://read.oecd-ilibrary.org/science-and-technology/oecd-science-technology-and-innovation-outlook-2016_sti_in_outlook-2016-en#page149

Ruiz, N. (April, 2017). Key facts about the U.S. H-1B visa program. Pew Research Center. Retrieved https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2017/04/27/key-facts-about-the-u-s-h-1b-visa-program/

Teitelbaum,, M. (Fall 2003). Do We Need More Scientists? National Affairs, Retrieved
https://www.nationalaffairs.com/public_interest/detail/do-we-need-more-scientists

U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (2016). U.S. Patent Statistics Chart Calendar Years 1963 - 2015. Retrieved
https://www.uspto.gov/web/offices/ac/ido/oeip/taf/us_stat.htm

WIPO (2019). China-Statistical Country Profiles. World Intellectual Property Organization. Retrieved July 1st, 2019 https://www.wipo.int/ipstats/en/statistics/country_profile/profile.jsp?code=CN

Permission to republish with proper attribution. Dr. Murad Abel








Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Selecting Your Research Pantheon!

Research teams can be complex and best ensuring that a research product succeeds is by staffing it with the right people that have the knowledge complete the work. I'm working on conducting a research project and have put together a team of interested scientists and professors. Each brought with them certain skills and a diverse background to ensure that their contribution is meaningful.

I put together a few ideas on how to select your research team. They are generic enough to apply to most situations.

1. Define Your Research, Objectives and Plans: Before you start putting your team together you should have a pretty good idea of what you want to do. Make sure that you have everything defined before moving forward.

2. Select Your Team on Skills: Your team will determine your potential success. Ensuring that you bring on board the right skills is essential. You may want to think in terms of experts in the field, familiarity with research design, people who can help create practical outcomes, etc....

3. Create Timeline and Plan: Having milestones and timelines helps to keep people on track. It is helpful for people to know when deliverable are due. Just make sure you build in some spare time in case there is an unexpected delay.

4. Designate Tasks: To complete your timelines and time-frames you need to apply the skills specifically. Therefore, put people on the teams and tasks they can do well.

5. Regular Check-Ins and Follow Ups: It is helpful to have check-ins to ensure that you are meting your deadline. Allowing each person to go around and discuss what they are working on helps to keep everyone else informed.

Sunday, May 26, 2019

Giving Back to Kids-Keeping Orphanages Supplied

Yesterday I had the opportunity to go down to the orphanages and bring some needed supplies. One of the things they need is cleaning stuff, toilet paper, and other items that are more mundane. Most people want to buy food or bring used clothing but in many cases they need other things such as cleaning supplies, new soccer shoes, and other items. At the present time I'm focused more on providing shoes for their soccer team as well as ensuring they have the basic supplies they need.

When you frequent these orphanages on a regular basis you come to realize that these kids have needs for love, affection, and a relationship. They begin to remember you and know your name. They grab your hands and walk with you to tell you something about their lives. They want to feel special!

That is one of the reasons why I want to spend some time working with them. They are pliable human beings that allow my activities to make a difference. One kind word, a few resources, and some encouragement and these kids can do some amazing things. We set them up for a better life their parents could not provide.

Of course my dog Chewy loved the attention as well. :)πŸ’“πŸΆπŸ•πŸΆ

If you want to contribute to basic supplies or items such as soccer shoes send me your donation and I can spend when I go down. We have jerseys but no shoes for the soccer team...so this is on my mind.  PayPal muradabel@gmail.com  Venmo Murad Abel @muradabel

Please remember that my personal information is only for direct supplies, food, etc....

You may be more interested in donating to a sustained 401K that has been around for 26 years. They do a great job. If you would like to donate for the general need to sustain life through Corazon De Vida which is a U.S. based non-profit. https://www.classy.org/fundraiser/1984592

These kids need a ton of supplies.


Monday, May 20, 2019

4 Tips on Marketing in the Wine Industry

Dr. Murad Abel
Marketing is an essential down to earth need of any successful business. Whether you actively marketing on social media or you provide great customer service for referrals you will inevitably need to keep people interested in your product. In the wine industry marketing takes a unique turn as businesses must blend image, atmosphere, service and quality to achieve their goals.

With a solid strategy and focused effort they can bring interest and excitement to their wine.

Spend some time in Baja or in Napa Valley and you will soon find luxurious wine mixed with beautiful environments. Wine enthusiasts from all over the world travel to the area to get their taste buds teased by the unique offerings of each winery.

Image: Each winery creates an image that makes statements about who they are, what they want to accomplish and what they hope to achieve. Successful images fit within the core wine demographic but still niche enough to attract high return customers.

Atmosphere: The atmosphere is what creates memories and returns. No one want to sit in a garage and drink wine out of a box. Providing the right atmosphere makes a big difference in the overall ability of people to get immersed in their environment to create the total experience.

Service: Service helps people to fell special. People don't spend money or buy things unless it is out of necessity or they will feel good about themselves. Service provides them with positive feelings and images of their worth within the business.

Quality: If you are going to spend your time traveling, vising wineries and savoring the flavors you do not want to be purchasing cheap dollar store wine. Make sure your offerings are some of the best.

Saturday, May 11, 2019

How Entrepreneurs Find the Value of their Products

94th Aero Squadron
New entrepreneurs have a great product and a great idea! They next great widget is going to hit the market by store. There is a problem! They have nooooo idea what that product is worth! This is particularly true with new product launches and unique products. The value is dependent on its market and to best improve your chances of launch success you would be best served by knowing how to find a value.

A product priced too high might fail just after launch and not be able to gain momentum with consumers. A price that is too low might generate a lot of sales but could end up damaging the long-term brand image of the company. Low quality and value is not something most companies want to be seen as.

Below are three methods you could use. They may be modified based on the individual circumstances and factors associated with the market.

Cost Method: The method of cost plus some safe margin. You should figure out what you need to break even and then what you need to make a reasonable return on investment. At this point you know what number is the bench line where above means you are doing better than expected and a little below means the product has ties up capital.

Perceived Value: Consumers may see different value based on their product. Typically they make some type of mental comparison and then determine what they would be willing to pay for that product. Sampling consumer price points can be helpful in determining what the wider market would be willing to pay.

Market Comparison: It is beneficial to compare your product and its features to similar products in the market to determine its competitive place. Depending on which strategy you plan on using, the market average becomes a type of benchmark. Know how your product's features line up against competitors.

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

The 4 Ps of B2B Marketing

The 4 P's of Marketing helps us view and review a company's offering to determine if it is within the most advantageous position. The P's are simple but helpful in gaining a greater understanding of what the market is willing to buy and at what prices. If you are a small business owner and you desire to skip over the 4P's you should beware. It is your money and your time to lose if you over invest in a product no one wants and no one is willing to pay for!

To lower risks and improve opportunities for success company usually conduct analysis before they jump all in on a product. They must know which product they are going to sell, the price they are going to sell, how they are going to promote it, and where their product fits into the market. We can say they are evaluating the "4 P's of Marketing".

The 4 P's apply to Business-to-Business sales as much as they do in retail. There are some differences in the volume, amounts, services, and competitors. With B2B relationships there is a longer commitment and contracts that ensure both parties are protected. Interactions are much more personalized as people develop individual relationships with businesses.

Product: Products are the center of the marketing approach. Some products are physical and some are intellectually based. Services are also products that can be sold traded and bartered. In B2B transactions the product warranties, stocking ease, just in time delivery, etc... are part of the product offering. They are purchased together to raise the value of the supplier.

Price: The price is found through evaluating the total product and its offerings against competitive products. If such products are not found the business will need to find a utility cost above and beyond the cost of manufacturing. When the perceived value of the product doesn't meet the company's profit potential the product is taken off of the market.

Promotion: If no one knows about your product you are unlikely to get many sales. Advertising gets your voice heard in a sea of competing messages. B2B sales are more focused and intense because there are greater amounts of money and longer-term established relationships. The way in which you find candidates will also vary from phone calls and cold calling.

Place: Place can be viewed as physical in nature, such as a place on a store shelf or a place of a store, but includes position within the market.  Where your product is located in comparison to its competitors is helpful in determining which type of clients offer the greatest prospects for marketing efforts.