About the Fact of the Week
Each week, ITIF publishes a fact about innovation in our newsletter. Here you will find an archive of previously featured facts.
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10 Most Popular Facts
1. China's engineering degrees were about 10 times the U.S. number and represented a much higher share of all bachelor's degrees (30%) than in the United States (5%).
China awarded 300,000 bachelor's degrees in the natural sciences and 700,000 in engineering-together representing 43% of its 2.3 million total in 2008. China's engineering degrees were about 10 times the U.S. number and represented a much higher share of all bachelor's degrees (30%) than in the United States (5%). The gap in education in STEM fields from U.S. to China is only growing...
A 2013 McKinsey Global Institute report estimated that open data could add over $3 trillion in total value annually to the education, transportation, consumer products, electricity, oil and gas, health care and consumer finance sectors worldwide. Open data can be used to drive innovation within and beyond the organization that created it because it allows other organizations to make use of...
3. China has increased its solar PV global export market share from 2% in 2000 to 54% by 2011, even though U.S. solar PV are 5% more cost competitive than Chinese products before subsidies.
From 2000 to 2011, China increased its global solar PV export market share from 2 percent to 54 percent. This remarkable export growth, in addition to significant deployment subsidies in the United States, has helped solar PV costs decrease 75 percent in the last 10 years. But what’s the character of that cost decline? According to a recent McKinsey study a...
4. After illness, transportation is the most frequently cited barrier to voting for people with disabilities, reported by approximately 25% of respondents in a national survey.
States should provide electronic ballot delivery to all voters. Electronic ballot delivery allows voters to use a computer to download, complete and print their absentee ballots. This eliminates the costs of mailing out ballots to voters and allows individuals with disabilities to use the assistive technology on their computers to complete the ballot. Voters do not send completed ballots over the...
5. If the United States were able to close the gap between its educational achievement levels and those of better-performing nations such as Finland and Korea, U.S. GDP could be as much as $1.3 trillion to $2.3 trillion higher.
A series of McKinsey Global Institute reports find that a lack of innovation and productivity growth in four critical sectors--education, health care, government, and national infrastructure--are holding back broader economic growth. McKinsey's 2009 report, The Economic Impact of the Achievement Gap in America's Schools, finds that the educational achievement gap between the United States and its...
6. If current R&D investment continues at the current level, the R&D investment deficit will grow to $2.6 trillion by 2021.
If federal R&D investment had been sustained at the 1960-1980 level, in terms of an average share of GDP, these investments would be approaching $230 billion annually today, rather than the current levels of roughly $150 billion. Our robust investment in R&D in the 1960s, 70s and 80s fueled our post-war prosperity and helped set the stage for the IT revolution, advances in biotech and...
7. Germany invests 20 times more, as a share of GDP, in industrially-relevant research and development than the U.S.
Germany has adopted an overall innovation stratergy in recent years which explains why Germany has weathered the Great Recession better than the United States. Germany decided to bring government and private companies together to proactively restructure its manufacturing base instead of waiting for market forces to magically arrest the decline. The German companies that are succeeding in the...
Manufacturing productivity growth in LAC countries over the past two decades has significantly trailed both that of developed economies and other developing nations (particularly Southeast Asian nations), in large part due to the slow rate of productivity growth among small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs). To address this, nations need to specifically improve innovation assistance services...
In 2012 renewable energy generated about 12 percent of total utility-scale electricity in the United States, and 19.5 percent of globally generated electricity. While the share of renewable energy resources in the electricity market is growing, the high costs of most clean technologies pose a challenge for further renewable penetration. New policies and investments are required to enhance the...
Sweden, Denmark and Finland finished first, third and fourth respectively in the Innovation Union Scoreboard 2013, a ranking of innovation performance of EU member nations. Over the last decade the Nordic nations have made great strides in improving innovation capacity and economic competitiveness. They have accomplished these goals through well-organized national innovation systems that...