The United States Now Ranks No. 6 In Innovation

Thursday, February 26, 2009, 12:53 PM | Leave Comment

Long the unchallenged global leader in innovation and competitiveness, the United States now ranks No. 6 among the 40 most developed economies, according to a report published on Wednesday. The United States now lags behind Singapore, Sweden, Luxembourg, Denmark, and South Korea in that order and placed dead last among the top 40 economies in terms of competitive growth.

The report, titled “The Atlantic Century Benchmarking U.S. an EU Innovation,” runs counter to most global studies on competitiveness that tend to place the U.S. at the top.

The report by the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation found that the United States ranked sixth among 40 countries and regions, based on 16 indicators of innovation and competitiveness. They included venture capital investment, scientific researchers, spending on research and educational achievement.

But the American economy placed last in terms of progress made over the last decade. “The trend is very troubling,” said Robert D. Atkinson, president of the foundation.

Moral of the story
Nations that once competed almost exclusively on price are now making bold innovative strides as a way to attract higher-value and higher-revenue business.

It cannot be because of the U.S. economy. Other global economies are hurting as well, maybe more so than the United States. But there are conflicting reports.

For example, a report last year by the Rand Corporation concluded that the United States was in “no imminent danger” of losing its competitive advantage in science and technology.

In any case, whatever position the U.S. is in, the government must put in place policies to nurture education, training, intellectual property protection and immigration.

We must have government programs to attract investment and talent and improve work force skills of local people. That includes research tax incentives and work force development tax credits.

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