Knowledge is Power? Technology and Innovation in the Indo-Pacific


By Daniel Fiott

Ever since the 1970s, the Indo-Pacific region has steadily become home to increasing levels of technological output, innovation, and people. During this period China’s economic opening, the United States’ technological dominance, and the broader processes of generalised economic globalisation have contributed to the formation of high-tech global value chains. The technological rise of the Indo-Pacific comes with challenges such as resource security of supply, global regulation, surveillance and fundamental freedoms, and the China-US rivalry. As it charts its own strategy in the Indo-Pacific, all of these issues are of relevance to the European Union. 


This policy brief analyses the technological and innovation trends underway in the Indo-Pacific out to 2030. It does so with the aim of informing the EU’s own approach to technology and innovation partnerships in the Indo-Pacific region. The contribution looks at three trends: (1) technology and innovation investments; (2) high-technology exports; and (3) patents, intellectual property rights, and regulation.


The EU's Indo-Pacific strategy is timely, as the US-Australia-UK agreement demonstrates. This CSDS special edition policy brief resulted from working with the EU in the context of its Indo-Pacific strategy, issued on 16 September 2021, and is published in a series with four others, which shed light on underlying causes and look at future trends. This publication is financially supported by the European Union through the Indo-Pacific Futures Platform (INFORM) project, which ran from April 2021 to December 2022.