America’s position as the source of much of the world’s global innovation has been the foundation of its economic vitality and military power in the post-war. No longer is U.S. pre-eminence assured as a place to turn laboratory discoveries into new commercial products, companies, industries, and high-paying jobs. As the pillars of the U.S. innovation system erode through wavering financial and policy support, the rest of the world is racing to improve its capacity to generate new technologies and products, attract and grow existing industries, and build positions in the high technology industries of tomorrow.
Rising to the Challenge: U.S. Innovation Policy for Global Economy emphasizes the importance of sustaining global leadership in the commercialization of innovation which is vital to America’s security, its role as a world power, and the welfare of its people. The second decade of the 21st century is witnessing the rise of a global competition that is based on innovative advantage. To this end, both advanced as well as emerging nations are developing and pursuing policies and programs that are in many cases less constrained by ideological limitations on the role of government and the concept of free market economics. The rapid transformation of the global innovation landscape presents tremendous challenges as well as important opportunities for the United States.
This report argues that far more vigorous attention be paid to capturing the outputs of innovation – the commercial products, the industries, and particularly high-quality jobs to restore full employment. America’s economic and national security future depends on our succeeding in this endeavor.