Today, the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) released a study examining six areas — human capital, innovation capacity, entrepreneurship, IT infrastructure, economic policy factors and economic performance — to assess the extent to which nations are able to compete globally on the basis of innovation.
The ITIF found that the U.S.’s overall position in terms of innovation-based competitiveness is slipping, and that America “ranks last in progress toward the new knowledge-based innovation economy over the last decade”:
[T]he prevailing view among many Washington policymakers is that the United States has been number 1 for so long it will continue to be number 1. Given this situation, the thinking goes, there is no real need for the United States to develop and implement a national economic development or competitiveness strategy. But this report finds that not only is the U.S. not number 1, but that its position is slipping rapidly. Absent a coherent national innovation strategy, the U.S. position will likely continue to slip, and with it, relative U.S. living standards.
According to the ITIF, “it’s time for U.S. federal policymakers to realize that the U.S. economy now competes with other nations, and like states after World War II did, it too needs to put in place a robust economic development policy.” The U.S. is one of only three industrialized nations that lacks a national innovation policy.