Europe and its technological trajectory: Are we at sunset?

(To Pasquale Preziosa)
05/07/19

Technological change has its rules dictated by the technological trajectory designed by the research centers of the most developed nations.

Five hundred years ago, Copernicus theorized that the earth revolved around the sun: a fact that Galileo confirmed 100 years later.

The era of scientific discoveries had begun. The combination of the printed word and the challenges launched by Galileo to the Church will represent a point of friction for the progress of science and technology.

Since those days scientific progress has not progressed in a linear but exponential way. Nowadays, technological progress continues to accelerate.

The accelerations are due to various factors among which there is the new digital age that has made more liquid not only the companies but also the knowledge.

Another important factor was the phenomenon of globalization that developed in an irrational way without a "governance", this allowed the technology to overcome the national barriers and spread everywhere.

What were the effects of these changes?

The development of China and part of India was the result of the previous factors: today China must be counted among the most technologically developed countries, if not above those traditionally considered developed countries, considering the USA as a parent. The affirmation of China in the field of advanced technologies has made, in fact, the multipolar world, together with Russia.

China, a country still considered and treated as a developing country, can boast the possession of technologies that are not yet mature in the other developed countries, among which the capabilities of 5g digital networks, the possession of state-of-the-art space technologies deserve mention. , the possession of a recently created hypersonic weapon.

The possession of hypersonic weapons with nuclear capabilities confers high deterrence in the military field and both Russia (Avangard) and China (Jiageng, photo) are at the forefront even in these sectors: the old paradigm on the technological superiority of the West is to be considered on the path to sunset. The paradigm shift will lead to a new unknown world order.

According to Kissinger (World Order), every international order must sooner or later face the impact of two trends that call into question its cohesion: the redefinition of legitimacy, or a significant change in the balance of power.

According to the "Center for Security Studies" in Zurich, in the context of the study of "Strategic Trends 2019", the eclipse of the technological military superiority of the West, in favor of the Asian East, began.

The technological trajectory first drawn by the West can now be modified or changed by Asian countries.

Why is it important to be a protagonist and be a decision maker on the technological trajectory? The technological trajectory can determine the change of the industrial paradigm.

The first industrial revolution saw England protagonist of the new technologies that dominated the markets, consequently the Pound became the main currency at the base of the commercial exchanges.

Similar conditions apply to the United States and its currency following the Second World War.

The United States enjoyed a direct economic supremacy after the war as a result of the advance with which the country had started the second industrial revolution.

Leaving other countries now the chance to write the technological history of the future, the West will retrace English history. Money is one of the cornerstones around which the balance of world powers revolves. With these premises, the next industrial revolution will move away from the West and land in Asia with a possible weakening of the dollar and the euro.

The great absentee in this game is Europe.

It is necessary for Europe to trace the paths of technological development for the processes of innovation and growth followed first by the USA and now by China.

These developments are anchored to strong investments in research and development in the space and military field for the development of new technologies that are neutral in their essence and only the field of application determines the case in point.

TheInstitute of Mechanics, of the Chinese Academy of Sciences is building an industry for the commercial production of hypersonic engines for civil and military applications.

The research of the new materials to be used to shield the space capsules from the heat back into the atmosphere, have allowed the development of resistant materials up to continuous 3000 ° Celsius.

The combination of these two new technologies is revolutionizing the balance of powers between the great powers in favor of those in Asia that are ahead in technological research.

Europe has the opportunity to play an important role in the balance of the international security system, federating national military industries on new European military projects.

13 bn euro have been placed in the next seven year period on the European defense fund under the EU five-year budget, of which 4,1 bn for the financing of research projects and the remainder for the development of prototypes.

The European defense industry also co-financed by member states will be able to recreate the conditions for Europe's technological and competitive revival.

The European military pillar within NATO, which is also open to neighbors, will complete the security framework of the new multipolar structure that has already been outlined.

The US does not have enough energy to compete alone and their isolation has never led to great results: indeed.

It is time for Europe to change pace for international security and for its survival.

Photo: MoD China / EUNAVFOR MED