ITIF Senior Analyst Stephen Ezell’s article, "America and the World: We’re Number 40!", in September’s Democracy Journal examines how the United States has lost its lead in developing innovation policies (and thus risks losing leadership in high-technology innovation), what other countries have done to capture this lead from the United States, and how we can get it back.
Structuring U.S. Innovation Policy: Creating a White House Office of Innovation Policy
Duke Law School professors Stuart Benjamin and Arti Rai propose that the Obama administration (or Congress, if Congress is willing) create an Office of Innovation Policy that would draw upon, and feed into, existing regulatory review processes but would have the specific mission of being the “innovation champion” within these processes.
Innovation is central to economic growth and to solving a host of pressing societal challenges. It is therefore critical to ensure that the federal agencies’ actions promote innovation, or at least pursue other social objectives in a manner that is least damaging to innovation. There is no formal process within the executive branch to ensure that this happens, however. In particular, the centralized cost-benefit review performed by OMB’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs generally ignores the impact of agency actions on innovation. A new Office of Innovation Policy would bridge the gap between the traditional business of government and creating innovative leadership within OMB’s review process.
“Stim-Novation”: Investing in Research to Spur Innovation and Boost Jobs
The ideal fiscal stimulus measure not only creates jobs and drives economic activity in the short run but also boosts quality of life and economic growth in the medium and long run. Support for scientific research in the stimulus package accomplishes both goals. In this report, ITIF finds that spurring an additional $20 billion investment in our national research infrastructure will create or retain approximately 402,000 American jobs for one year.