Scientific Innovations in the Service of Society 

Technology has developed as a response to the various requirements of society.

What is “innovation”?

1.  Innovation is a new idea, creative thoughts, new imaginations in the form of device or method.

2.  It can also be a progression of the existing technology than having discovered something new or original.

3.  For example, replacement of a 32-bit microprocessor (called 386) in the domain of computers by a 486 of a higher performance unit. It was just an upgradation of existing technology.

4.  If the present conventional (classical) system in the future gets replaced by a quantum computing system, then it will be a new innovation in computing technology.

5.  Technology has been a part of human development. It has played a great role in every field of human growth and survival.

6.  The innovation of transistor in 1948 brought a revolution in the field of electronics and computing.

How innovations resulted in the Industrial Revolution?

1. Various technological developments have resulted in various industrial revolutions since the 17th/18th century onwards.

2. Industrialization had spread from Britain to other European nations (like Belgium, France and Germany), to the United States. It then spread to Japan and South Korea in the 20th century.

3. In the last few decades, China, Israel and India have shown remarkable progress in industrialization.

4. Timeline of the Industrial Revolution:

  a) First Industrial Revolution (1760-1840): Steam engine, textile industry and mechanical engineering.

  b) Second Industrial Revolution (1870-1914): Railways and steel industry.

  c) Third Industrial Revolution (1969-2000): Electric engine, heavy chemicals, automobiles and consumer durables.

  d) Fourth Industrial Revolution: Digital Revolution called Industry 4.0.

Which sectors benefitted out of innovations?

1. Biotechnology, Biology, Pharmacy and Medicine: Innovations in these fields have helped to increase the life expectancy of humans, cure many diseases and make human lives healthier. Examples include the invention of penicillin, discovery of DNA, research on stem cell, innovations in the organ donation field, etc.

2. Power sector: From nuclear power to solar power to space-based solar power to biofuels, various clean options have been made available. In Southern France, International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) is getting developed. A major innovation in the energy sector is expected if Helium-3 and Deuterium could be used as fuels.

3. Computer Numerical Control (CNC): This milling technology is being used since 1950s to produce significant quantities of large, heavy, precision-crafted products for commercial and industrial equipment, machines, and engines.

4. 3D printing: It is a mechanism of direct digital manufacturing which would allow object creation by using a digital file having the design of the product.

5. Internet of Things (IoT): Internet is one technology which has connected the world and has changed various practices of human survival from education to healthcare to the nature of doing business including financial transactions.

6. Development in various fields like nanoscience, electronics and sensor technology is offering new opportunities to relate to internet differently.

7. Distributed computing, Cloud computing, Big Data and Block-chain are expected to impact the future of IoT.

8. Artificial Intelligence: It is the intelligence demonstrated by machines. It could bring in various advantages in many fields associated with human growth. An example includes robotics.

9. Outer space: Communication, navigational, remote sensing (earth observational), weather and scientific satellites actually almost fully control human lives.

10. Cell phones which were originally developed as a unit for remote wireless communication are now being used as a GPS device as well.