This question is very broad. When you speak of later civilizations, which one do you mean? In light of this ambiguity, I will give you several great contributions of various civilizations from the Reformation to the present.
During the Reformation or right before, the movable type face was created. This allowed for the printing press. This invention truly changed the world, because it make knowledge accessible to many people. We could say that there was a revolution in the area of knowledge.
During the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, we would see the industrial revolution and the creation of factories. This allowed for the manufacturing of good at cheaper prices. This changed society in many different ways as there was an explosion in technology.
More recently, I would say one of the great inventions was the Internet. This further democratized knowledge, news, and anything you could put online. For example, if Facebook were a nation, it would rank third in the world behind China and India.