But not only is U.S. innovation policy disorganized, it is woefully underfunded. In 2006, the federal government spent a total of $2.7 billion, or 0.02 percent of gross domestic product, on its principal innovation programs and agencies. Compare that to the 0.07 percent of GDP Sweden spends, Japan’s 0.04 percent, and South Korea’s 0.03 percent investments.
A key way for the United States to improve productivity, create jobs, and grow the domestic economy over the long term is for the government to support the growth of regional centers of innovation. Yesterday morning, the Center for American Progress hosted an event, “Enabling Economic Recovery Through Innovation,” that explored policies for place-specific, technology-based economic development. But investment alone will not enable the next Silicon Valley—as panelist and former Chief Democratic Council to the U.S. House Committee on Science and Technology Jim Turner noted, “If we’re not organized, we’re going to fail.”
Joining Turner on the panel were CAP Senior Fellow Tom Kalil, Information Technology and Innovation Foundation President Rob Atkinson, University of Chapel Hill Public Policy Professor Maryann P. Feldman, and Richard Seline, CEO and Principal of New Economy Strategies.
Innovation is not distributed, noted Feldman, saying that “what makes the world interesting are spikes,” or areas with technological corridors and communities that serve as hubs of innovation. Speaking specifically about case studies assessing Silicon Valley, San Diego, and Route 128 in Massachusetts, Feldman said it was the creation of good infrastructure and the support for small and medium enterprises that helped the flow of innovative ideas. But even for less glitzy innovation outside of computer software and biotech, she explained the importance of place: Toledo, Ohio is in fact a world leader in photovoltaic technology.
Atkinson explained the comparative inadequacy of U.S. investment in innovation support, noting that to match the per-capita government contributions of Finland, the government would need to spend $34 billion a year. State and regional economies underinvest in innovation, he said, and his proposed solution is the creation of a National Innovation Foundation that would coordinate efforts across the country. Kalil also said that, “The capacity of the federal government to promote various kinds of innovation is not even distributed,”which was a coordination problem that Seline echoed.
While policymakers work to remove those federal barriers, Kalil explained that universities—often hubs of regional innovation—can shift priorities to enhance the innovation process by funding students and faculty with novel ideas and incorporating entrepreneurial principles across the curriculum. Young students, Seline explained, are excited about starting innovative projects not just to make money, but also to find solutions to societal problems.
| Center for American Progress
Europe's microtechnology industry is attuned to growth
10.03.2017 | IVAM Fachverband für Mikrotechnik
Preferential trade agreements enhance global trade at the expense of its resilience
17.02.2017 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...
In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...
20.03.2017 | Event News
14.03.2017 | Event News
07.03.2017 | Event News
22.03.2017 | Materials Sciences
22.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
22.03.2017 | Materials Sciences