Small example of ingenuity and thinking out of the box; as we are required to do these days:
One of the most memorable case studies on Japanese management was the case of the empty soap box, which happened in one of Japan's biggest cosmetics companies. The company received a complaint that a consumer had bought a soap box that was empty. Immediately the authorities isolated the problem to the assembly line, which transported all the packaged boxes of soap to the delivery department. For some reason, one soap box went through the assembly line empty.Management asked its engineers to solve the problem. Post-haste, the engineers worked hard to devise an X-ray machine with high-resolution monitors manned by two people to watch all the soap boxes that passed through the line to make sure they were not empty. No doubt, they worked hard and they worked fast but they spent whoopee amount to do so.But when a rank-and-file employee in a small company was, this was probably one of the reasons that the second person came up with this solution was the fact that the first solution was not available to him at all !
In a "developing countries" where resources are apparantly scarce, or rather prices are inflated as I don't buy into the economic concept that there are limited resources to go around, such low cost innovative is common-place.
So indeed necessity is the mother of invention. Sometimes you don't need to spend loads of cash on R&D to promote innovation and encourage invention.
Our greatest asset as a nation is our minds, we will be doing a service to our nation if we spend a little time developing it. However, develop the mind from the stand point of the larger picture---i.e. it is not the mind alone which needs developing, it is also the development of the hearts mind, or the spiritual mind. This is key to building a successful and vibrant society.
For any sustainable progress, the nations critical-mass must be trained in the art of thinking outside the box.
Instead of trying to transfer technology from the developed world to the developing world, our efforts need to first be concentrated in the construction and strengthening of the nations foundation(s). For it is from here that one can embark on bright, productive, and creative future.
(Inspired from an email conversation with a friend, Moazzam Chaudry and related discussion on the PakSEF forum @ htttp://groups.yahoo.com/group/paksef)