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.
Featured Fact of the Week
- Accessibility (1)
- Broadband (4)
- Competitiveness (14)
- Cybersecurity (1)
- E-Government (1)
- Economic Development (1)
- Education (7)
- Emerging Economies (2)
- Energy (6)
- Health IT (1)
- Information Economy (17)
- Innovation Economics (1)
- Intellectual Property (7)
- Life Sciences (4)
- Manufacturing (8)
- Privacy (1)
- Productivity (3)
- Science and R&D (15)
- Taxes (3)
- Trade (18)
- Transportation (1)
- Wireless (4)
10 Most Popular Facts
1. 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...
2. 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...
3. 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...
4. 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...
5. 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...
6. 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...
7. The volume of mobile data traffic doubled from the fourth quarter of 2011 to the fourth quarter of 2012, and grew 28% between the third and fourth quarter of 2012.
Akamai found that in the fourth quarter of 2012, average connection speeds on surveyed mobile network providers ranged from a high of 8 mbps down to 345 kbps. average peak connection speeds for the quarter ranged from 44 mbps down to 2.7 mbps. based on data collected by Ericsson, the volume of mobile data traffic grew 28% between the third and fourth quarter of 2012, and doubled from the fourth...
In 2009, basic research was about 19% ($76 billion) of total U.S. R&D performance. According to the National Science Board, U.S. R&D is dominated by development activities, largely performed by the business sector. The business sector also performs the majority of applied research, but most basic research is conducted at universities and colleges and funded by the federal government.
9. Labor productivity growth in the United States and other developed countries slowed from 1.9% in the 1990s to 1.3% from 2000 to 2008, coinciding with slackening growth in their per capita GDP.
Productivity growth in the world's developed economies since 2000 has been slower than in developing economies, according to the National Science Board. Faster productivity growth is critical as these nations cope with increasing numbers of retirees. And innovation, including the development and adoption of new technologies, is critical in spurring productivity. And, in contrast to what the...
10. The number of students who enroll in at least one course online has jumped from 3.4 million in 2007 to 6.1 million in 2010.
The number of students enrolling in at least one class online has steadily increased by thousands of students each year since 2002. This is important because the U.S. government spends an average of $800 billion on education, and online courses could be an important coast cutting measure. As technology continues to improve and become more affordable, it is predictable that education institutions...