Yet Another Warning on U.S. Innovation
Yet another report warns of a slide in American innovative capabilities. According to the OECD, as recently reported in IndustryWeek, "fissures have begun to appear" in this country's commitment and ability to innovate. Innovation, with its remarkable spillover effects into industries with a geographic nexus to the R&D, is a critical component to raising living standards in a society.
Among the report's recommendations (nothing we haven't already heard):
- Ensure stronger IP protections but also maintain competitiveness by "limiting the possibility to extract disproportionate licensing fees for minor patented functions within complex products."
- Maintain an appropriate level of federal R&D funding (total non-defense R&D is $65B, or 1.7% of the total federal budget for FY13).
- Finally, dramatically raise the quality of science and math education in the country. "Today, 22 out of 30 OECD countries have more graduates in science and engineering among the 25- to 34-year-old workers than the United States."
The recommendations, of course, are especially important for manufacturing, which generates a proponderance of the R&D investments in our economy.
Is anyone listening in Washington?