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President Obama, in his first State of the Union address, told us that other countries are making the investments needed to seize the opportunities present in meeting the world’s grand challenges, and that the U.S. risks being left behind. He’s right.
The National Science Board’s biennial Science & Engineering Indicators suggests that as early as the 2012 edition, the U.S. will no longer lead the world in total R&D expenditures – unless corrective action is taken (graph here). And Senator Jeff Bingaman, who chairs the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, recently told a Senate hearing that “…our investments in new energy technologies, and the science underlying them, have been surprisingly deficient over the last 20 years…. our national R&D investments in medicine and biotechnology, as a percentage of sales, are about 40 times greater than our research and development investments in energy.” Read the rest of this entry »
Over the past few weeks, a chorus of voices from around the world has started to sound like a warning buzzer for U.S. competitive and innovation strategy. Thomas L. Friedman, writing in the New York Times, reported back from Denmark that that country has succeeded in levying a susbstantial energy tax (deemed politically impossible here), and applying the proceeds to renewable energy innovation, development, and deployment.
Bruce Nussbaum from Business Week completed a tour of Asia, impressed everywhere he visited with the attention being paid to design as a critical innovation element at all levels (including national policy), leading to what he called “Designomics” in his speech to the Design Korea 2009 International Conference: “The global economy is emerging from the Great Recession… with a very different shape, a very different trajectory and a very different set of growth engines. Read the rest of this entry »