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ED: The 4IR is happening, so let’s keep up

  • Published at 08:38 pm September 12th, 2021

We have the talent here at home already making advances in science and technology

In the last decade or so, Bangladesh has grown industrially in ways few would have thought possible. Even after the pandemic dealt us a harsh blow, we are recovering slowly but surely. Millions have been lifted out of poverty in recent years, and while there has been some backsliding in the past year, there is no doubt that Bangladesh will pick up the pieces and move on.

We must remember though, that we live in extremely fast-moving times. One area of technology that is moving at blinding speed is nanotech. So for our economy, resilience is not enough, and as has been pointed out at a recent event on nanotechnology, by keynote speaker Dr Senjuti Saha: “Nanotech is inevitable in scientific progress and transformations taking place in today’s world,” adding that nanotech has even played a crucial role in developing Covid-19 vaccines. Nanotech could, therefore, end up playing a crucial role in ending the terrible pandemic we are all currently going through.

Nanotech, however, is only one of the aspects of how science and industry around us are changing. 3D printing, biotech, artificial intelligence, robotics, the Internet of Things, wearable technology, and many other innovations that would have seemed impossible just a few years ago are realities. And these are realities that we need to get behind.

Our RMG industry, for example, needs to keep up with the latest modes of production, or risk getting left behind by more technologically advanced competitors. The comparative advantage we have had for so long may not still be there after the radical changes in technology that are to come.

Certainly, we have the talent here at home already making advances in science and technology. They should be encouraged, not deterred. It is time to look to the future, with fresh eyes.

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