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
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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...
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...
4. 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...
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...
8. Funding for the Department of Energy's breakthrough energy technology program, the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E), has been consistently below recommended levels since the agency's creation.
Funding for the Department of Energy's breakthrough energy technology program, the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E), has been consistently below recommended levels since the agency's creation. vAppropriations for FY2013 and FY2014 are $265 million and $280 million, respectively, which does not even amount to 30 percent of the $1 billion initially proposed by the National...
9. More than 100 local content requirements have been proposed or implemented since 2008, reducing global trade by about $93 billion annually.
The shift from conventional trade barriers to unconventional ones like local content requirements (LCRs) is the most detrimental problem facing global trade today. Historically, LCRs have been associated with government procurement and mandates attached to publicly financed projects. Today, however, they take many forms such as price preferences awarded to domestic firms bidding on government...
10. Clean technologies aren't eligible for the same "Master Limited Partnerships" tax benefits as shale natural gas and oil.
The current energy superstars, shale natural gas and oil, have leveraged master limited partnerships (MLP) totaling $113 billion since 2007 to forgo paying any corporate taxes. Clean technologies aren't eligible for such tax benefits. The wind Production Tax Credit (PTC) expired at the end of 2013, instigating the usual responses from clean energy critics and advocates alike. But the policy...