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The Changing Nature of Innovation: Part II — National Policy

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Michael Porter makes two interesting observations about innovation in the US in his BusinessWeek interview entitled Why America Needs an Economic Strategy:

… U.S. entrepreneurship has been fed by a science, technology, and innovation machine that remains by far the best in the world. While other countries increase their spending on research and development, the U.S. remains uniquely good at coaxing innovation out of its research and translating those innovations into commercial products. In 2007, American inventors registered about 80,000 patents in the U.S. patent system, where virtually all important technologies developed in any nation are patented. That’s more than the rest of the world combined

In contrast to the effectiveness of utilizing research and technology for entrepreneurial purposes, Porter notes a worrisome trend:

An inadequate rate of reinvestment in science and technology is hampering America’s feeder system for entrepreneurship. Research and development as a share of GDP has actually declined, while it has risen in many other countries. Federal policymakers recognize this problem but have failed to act.

Viewed in light of Part I of this mini-series on innovation, a natural question posts itself:

Do the new forms of experimentation, which enable the US entrepreneurial system to be so very effective in coaxing innovation out of research that has already been done, mask a fundamental decline for which there will be hell to pay?!

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Written by israelgat

November 24, 2009 at 5:30 am