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• Improve public health. Improving public health is often another leading goal. Because people in many of these countries frequently lack clean water and good sanitation, waterborne diseases are common and generally spread easily. The largely rural populations usually have little access to health care. In nations where cities are growing and people are traveling more frequently both domes-tically and abroad, the threat of epidemics can increase. In South Africa, for example, AIDS capable of implementing relevant sets of applications (sometimes even on par with Russia in the proficient group). But compared with most of the proficient and advanced countries, their level of capacity will still be very low. South Africa will have even less capacity, and Colombia and Indonesia will have little more than that of the scientifically lagging countries. Just as for countries with less S&T capacity that can acquire these applications, cheap solar energy, rural wireless communications, rapid bioassays, ubiquitous RFID tagging, and quantum cryptography could also help the scientifically advanced nations promote economic growth and international commerce. But these countries will be able to acquire more sophisticated applications as well—ubiquitous information access, pervasive sensors, tissue engineering, and wearable computers. Agile access to information could improve productivity, create new avenues for conducting business on the run, and expand global Internet commerce. What Drivers and Barriers Affect These Countries’ Ability to Implement the Technology Applications They Could Acquire? The S&T capacity that enables a country to acquire a technology application is only one of several factors determining whether that country will be able to implement it. The drivers facilitating innovation and the barriers hindering it also have a decisive influence on the ability to implement technology applications (i.e., to put the applications in place and get significant gains from them across the country). These assessments involve such things as whom an application will benefit and whether a country can sustain its use over time. Drivers and barriers involve the same dimensions: A dimension that is a driver in one context may be a barrier in another. For example, financing, when available, would be a driver, but financing, when lacking, is a barrier. A high level of literacy among a nation’s citizens would be a driver, but if literacy were low, it would form a barrier. And in certain cases, a dimension that is a barrier can simultaneously be a driver when only partial progress in that dimension has been made or when conflicting issues in the dimension are present. For example, education in the United States is a driver, but there are also concerns about problems in math and science education in the United States. Also, environmental concerns may dampen some S&T applications in China while promoting environmentally friendly applications, such as green manufacturing and hybrid vehicles.