US Innovation Slowing down

Many people are talking about the innovation crisis faced by the long time leader in Innovation — the USA. As reported in NYT by Timothy O’Brien this is becoming a serious issue — some important excerpts from the article are:

The Industrial Research Institute, an organization in Arlington, Va., that represents some of the nation’s largest corporations, is also concerned that the academic and financial support for scientific innovation is lagging in the United States. The group’s most recent data indicate that from 1986 to 2001, China, Taiwan, South Korea and Japan all awarded more doctoral degrees in science and engineering than did the United States. Between 1991 and 2003, research and development spending in America trailed that of China, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan – in China’s case by billions of dollars.

“We need to bring the view back in this country that we’re willing to make investments for the future because everything that’s in the cellphone and the iPod today was known 20 years ago,” he said. “I think scientists and inventors are a very peculiar breed in that we’re not in it for the money – we’re in it for the knowledge.”

“I think I’ve had more failures than successes, but I don’t see the failures as mistakes because I always learned something from those experiences,” Mr. West said. “I see them as having not achieved the initial goal, nothing more than that.”

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