The Government's Role in Spurring Innovation
This excerpt describes what the authors believe is the government's role in carrying out innovative research and creating
policies that encourage private-sector innovation.
While lack of resources is not always the problem, sometimes money matters. Cases in point are the numerous federal agencies
that play a key role in innovation but that are woefully underfunded... Without government help to catalyze deployment of
[the six] platforms [identified below], we will not see the progress that is possible. In fact, as noted previously, a key
reason why some nations are ahead of us in deploying these platforms is that foreign governments have engaged in smart partnerships
to help the private sector build the platforms, in part by using a combination of tax incentives [and] smart, but limited,
regulations that drive change and having the government act as a lead purchaser. The U.S. federal government should do the
Name:Innovation Economics: The Race for Global Advantage
"Innovation Economics: The Race for Global Advantage," published in September by Yale University Press, explores the conditions
that have caused the United States to fall behind other countries in the competition for the innovation advantage.
- Robert D. Atkinson: Author -- President, Information Technology and Innovation Foundation
- Stephen J. Ezell: Author -- Senior Analyst, Information Technology and Innovation Foundation
- Yale University Press
- United States
- U.S. Patent and Trademark Office: The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office used to be the envy of other nations for its effectiveness and efficiency. But today
a backlog of more than 700,000 patent applications at the USPTO means that most applicants will wait at least three years
for a decision.
- Food and Drug Administration: Likewise, there have been increased delays at the Food and Drug Administration for drug and device approval and difficulties
in upgrading the scientific expertise needed to expeditiously and effectively evaluate new drugs and biological submissions.
- U.S. Trade Representative's Office: The U.S. Trade Representative's Office brings relatively few cases before the World Trade Organization to challenge the mercantilist
practices of other nations.
- U.S. Statistical System: And the U.S. statistical system needs to do a better job of providing the kinds of data that would help policy-makers understand
the true condition of the U.S. innovation system.