A new 68-page report
by the Council on Competitiveness
makes a large number of thoughtful recommendations on keeping the country competitive.
"Innovation will be the single most important factor in determining America's success through the 21st Century."
"Today, America finds itself at a unique and delicate historical juncture, shaped by two unprecedented shifts – one in the nature of global competition, the other in the nature of innovation itself:
1. The world is becoming dramatically more interconnected and competitive...
2. Where, how and why innovation occurs are in flux – across geography and industries, in speed and scope of impact, and even in terms of who is innovating... To thrive in this new world, it will not be enough – indeed, it will be counterproductive – simply to intensify current stimuli, policies, management strategies and to make incremental improvements to organizational structures and curricula."
The report recommends action in several areas: education strategy, catalyzing a new generation of innovators, empowering workers to succeed in the global economy, revitalizing frontier and multidisciplinary research, energizing the entrepreneurial environment, reinforcing risk-taking and long-term investment, creating a national consensus for innovation growth strategies, creating a 21st century intellectual property regime, strengthening America's manufacturing capacity, and building 21st century innovation infrastructures (particularly a health care test bed).
A significant increase in support for basic research is one of the primary recommendations.
The list of authors reads like a Who's Who of American technology, including the chairmen and/or CEOs of 10 major corporations (IBM, General Motors, Verizon, AMD, ...) and the presidents of 8 major universities (Stanford, MIT, Columbia, Michigan, ...).