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U.S. Must Drive Technological Innovation

THE NATIONAL ECONOMIC COUNCIL OFFICE OF SCIENCE and Technology Policy recently proposed, “A Strategy for American Innovation: Driving Towards Sustainable Growth and Quality Jobs.” A summary is presented here.

  1. Invest in the Building Blocks of American Innovation

    We must first ensure that our economy is given all the necessary tools for successful innovation, from investments in research and development to the human, physical, and technological capital needed to perform that research and transfer those innovations.

    • Restore American leadership in fundamental research

      This represented the largest increase in basic R&D in history, and will lay the foundation for new discoveries and new technologies that will improve our lives and create the industries of the future.

    • Educate the next generation with 21st century knowledge and skills while creating a world-class workforce

      This should dramatically improve teaching and learning in K-12 education, expand access to higher education and training, and promote student achievement and careers in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) fields.

    • Build a leading physical infrastructure

      Through the Recovery Act, a historic investment is being made in our nation's roads, bridges, transit, and air transportation networks to connect our people and our businesses.

    • Develop an advanced information technology ecosystem

      For America to lead the world in the technologies of the future, all Americans must have affordable 21st century access to the Internet.

  2. Promote Competitive Markets That Spur Productive Entrepreneurship

    It is imperative to create a national environment ripe for entrepreneurship and risk-taking that allows U.S. companies to be internationally competitive in a global exchange of ideas and innovation. Through competitive markets, innovations diffuse and scale appropriately across industries and globally.

    • Promote American exports

      Exports will play an increasingly critical role in the future of the American economy, and the President's plans will ensure fair and open markets for American producers.

    • Support open-capital markets

      Open-capital markets allocate resources to the most promising ideas and are one of the greatest strengths of the American economy.

    • Encourage high-growth and innovation-based entrepreneurship

      The administration believes it is essential that entrepreneurs continue to create new and vibrant businesses that lead to new jobs and economic growth.

    • Improve public-sector innovation and support community innovation

      Innovation must occur within all levels of society, including the government itself. The administration supports the broad adoption of community innovations and is committed to making government perform better and more efficiently.

  3. Catalyze Breakthroughs for National Priorities

    There are certain sectors of exceptional national importance where the market is unlikely to produce the desirable outcomes on its own. These include developing alternative energy sources, improving and reducing the cost of healthcare with information technology, and manufacturing advanced vehicles. In these industries, where markets may fail on their own, government can be part of the solution.

    • Unleash a clean energy revolution

      Historic investments in smart grid, energy efficiency, and renewable technologies — such as wind, solar, and biofuels — will help unleash a wave of ingenuity and progress that creates jobs, grows our economy, and ends our dependence on oil.

    • Support advanced vehicle technologies

      A record-number of grants announced last month for developing battery technologies are part of a concerted effort to place the U.S. on the cutting edge of advanced vehicle technology, from electric cars to biofuels to advanced combustion.

    • Drive innovations in health care technology

      The President's health IT initiative is designed to drive technological innovation that will help prevent medical errors, improve healthcare quality, reduce costs, and cement U.S. leadership of this emerging industry.

    • Harness science and technology to address the “grand challenges” of the 21st century

      The commitment to science and technology will allow the United States to set and meet ambitious goals, such as educational software that is effective as a personal tutor and smart anti-cancer therapeutics that deliver drugs only to tumor cells.

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