Strategic CIO // Team Building & Staffing
News
4/24/2008
09:54 PM
Connect Directly
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Think Tanks Propose National Innovation Foundation

Such a foundation would serve as a catalyst between industry and university researchers and seek to expand regional innovation through state governments.

A branch of the Brookings Institution's think tank has called for a National Innovation Foundation to arrest the United States' declining role in worldwide research and development. The U.S. share of worldwide R&D spending fell from 43% in 1986 to 37% in 2003.

The decline has probably continued since then as the emerging economies of China, India, and Russia invest more heavily in research. The U.S. lead in R&D could continue to shrink without an explicit federal policy to encourage innovation, said Robert Atkinson, president of the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, a technology think tank, during an event earlier this week at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.

Atkinson was commenting on a report written by himself and Howard Wial, an economist of the Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program, a unit of the Brookings Institution, titled, "Boosting Productivity, Innovation And Growth Through A National Innovation Foundation."

Such a foundation would serve as a catalyst between industry and university researchers and seek to expand regional innovation through state governments. Such a foundation could be modeled after the National Science Foundation and would require about $400 million to get under way. As its role grew, it would be funded with $1 billion a year, Atkinson predicted.

The U.S. research and development tax credit was once one of the largest in the world. It now ranks 17th among the top 30 industrialized nations, Atkinson pointed out.

"Over the last decade, the share of U.S. corporate R&D sites declined from 59% to 52% within the U.S., while they increased from 8% to 18% in China and India," a copy of the report posted to the Brookings Institution's Web site states.

There is no national policy to encourage innovation and no systematic partnership between the federal and state governments to find more ways to do so, the report states.

There have been previous attempts to fund more research, such as the America Competes Act, hailed by President George Bush and Democratic leaders of Congress. But it was never fully funded because of budget pressures, Atkinson said.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
2014 US Salary Survey: 10 Stats
2014 US Salary Survey: 10 Stats
InformationWeek surveyed 11,662 IT pros across 30 industries about their pay, benefits, job satisfaction, outsourcing, and more. Some of the results will surprise you.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
InformationWeek Tech Digest - July 22, 2014
Sophisticated attacks demand real-time risk management and continuous monitoring. Here's how federal agencies are meeting that challenge.
Flash Poll
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Archived InformationWeek Radio
A UBM Tech Radio episode on the changing economics of Flash storage used in data tiering -- sponsored by Dell.
Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.