As I've said before, the increasingly globalized marketplace has presented challenges to U.S. dominance in innovation-based competitiveness. A recent conference sponsored by the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation explored America's current role in the innovation marketplace, and sought to develop a consensus on future actions to ensure U.S. competitiveness and economic growth in 2013 and beyond.
In his keynote address, Senator Chris Coons of Delaware highlighted one of the event's recurring themes: the need for bipartisan efforts to build a policy foundation for long-term innovation. Throughout the conference, panelists emphasized four areas of "emerging consensus" crucial to the promotion of innovation and national competitiveness:
- Trade Policy: Harvard Professor, Rosabeth Moss Kanter, noted the need to harmonize our trade policies to ensure that our domestic investments in intellectual property are protected from foreign competitors.
- Corporate Taxation: According to statistics cited by John Zogby of JZ Analytics, corporate tax reform is the top issue Americans--across every party affiliation--believe will make the United States more competitive in the global market.
- Research and Development: Deputy Secretary at the U.S. Department of Commerce, Rebecca M. Blank, discussed the need for investing more money into private research and increasing public/private partnerships to support innovation and competitiveness in the private sector.
- STEM Education: "The United States produces twice as many liberal arts degrees as we need, and half as many STEM degrees from nationals," said Senator Coons. He stressed that emphasizing STEM education at all levels of the education chain can help the US overcome some of the challenges to sustaining US dominance in innovative markets.
Innovation is near and dear to our hearts here at Lilly. For us, innovation means the ability to provide patients access to much-needed medicines, allowing people to live healthier, more productive lives. The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, the Technology Policy Institute, Silicon Flatirons, and all the panelists generated vital discussion on this important topic.