Not everyone will find themselves in this non-typical situation, but ROFL ROFL !!
Hilarious to watch !
13 year old IM Magnus Carlsen seems bored and is delivering an exasperating difficult challenge to GM Gary Kasparov. 2004 March.
Very serious cut throat !! At these high levels, subtleties are enormously impactful. LOL !
However, NP2 is multi-player and has more diplomacy than chess.
If I am reading your screenshot correctly, then you need to be able to research Hyperspace enough to reach unclaimed stars in the southeast before either of your threatening neighbors can reach you.
You could buy enough ECON to generate more income to buy SCI, which can accelerate your research.
Since you are challenged by your HR gap, while other players are not, then the other potential allies could be persuaded to not research HR, so that you could trade tech with them, while they are actively attacking your threatening neighbors.
You local terrain effect motivates you to research HR, so your allies should be complementary and research some other useful tech for mutually beneficial trade.
You must make your allies understand that your alliance is a team effort, so if they are able to protect you, then you can mutually trade tech to the detriment of your enemies, for the benefit of your alliance.
My suggestion is not the only way to play, but this is my suggestion based on your screenshot.
If you believe that you could still be weaker than your neighbors when orbital contact is achieved, then you and your alliance will need other techs to gain advantage over your enemies.
HR tech allows you to travel farther. Weapons allows you to fight stronger. Manufacturing allows you to build ships faster. Terraforming reduces the prices of infrastructure. etc. . .
It is a tricky balance that each player will have their own style and strategy.
Sometimes you could negotiate to trade stars, to allow a lane passage for an ally to bring ships parallel with you to fight your enemies on an expeditionary front.
But first you need HR to reach more stars and gain more cheap resources. Good Luck !