We've talked a lot about innovation on LillyPad and why it is important for the future of health care. Late last week, several articles caught my eye regarding the importance of innovation in life sciences, the tie to jobs, and what the government can do to encourage continued investment in research and development.
Douglas Schoen writes on The Hill's Congress Blog of the importance of the public-private partnership in the life-sciences sector in the United States. He writes, "By making tax policies friendlier to innovation and entrepreneurship, we can substantially reduce the cost of undertaking innovative activities, provide incentives for private R&D, and make our economy globally competitive." One way that the government facilitates this partnership is through the R&D tax credit, which provides incentives for private companies to invest additional funds into research and development here in the United States. Over time, studies have shown that these investments not only pay for themselves but encourage additional economic growth.
Continued investment in R&D throughout the life sciences sector is not just important for the future of health care, but important for America's competitiveness. Schoen writes, "We need to focus on making enduring investments in medical innovation and research, which will provide long-term benefits not only to the health of our people, but also to the success of our economy." Peter Pitts puts the economic effects of the industry into perspective with a piece he wrote in the San Diego Union Tribune about the impact of medical innovation on jobs. He highlights that while the rest of the economy was declining 0.7 percent, the biopharmaceutical sector grew 1.4 percent.
But direct funding of R&D is not the only investment in the future of innovation we must make. As Rob Smith wrote a few weeks ago, we must do what we can to bolster science and math education across the country. Similarly, Doug Schoen writes in a Huffington Post article about the importance of starting at the beginning and "improve[ing] our science education at all levels of schooling." Education is a critical component of innovation and our economic future.
The economic impact of the biopharmaceutical sector continues to grow. By continuing to encourage investments in science education and by enhancing and permanently extending the R&D tax credit, America can foster its competitive advantage and create jobs for the future.