US is falling behind in global innovation: 5 policy changes needed to stay in the lead

The U.S. has led the world in innovation since the end of World War II, but that dominance is now threatened by other nations' own skyrocketing investments in technology, according to a new report from the Aspen Cybersecurity Group.

The report, "An Innovation Challenge for the United States," describes how the nation led innovation for the majority of the last century due to four main factors: a lack of post-war devastation, an influx of high-skilled immigrants, an increase in educational opportunities and overall Cold War build-up and the resulting scientific competition.

With the social and political climate that led to that dominance no longer in place, however, the federal government will need to actively pursue innovation. Here, according to the report, are five policy points necessary to overcome existing barriers to innovation and rebuild momentum behind innovation:

  • Build consensus
  • Increase research funding
  • Promote free trade policies
  • Encourage immigration
  • Invest in education

Aspen Cybersecurity Group's members are leaders in a variety of industries, representing organizations such as Google, Facebook, Johnson & Johnson, Harvard Law School and the U.S. government. It is chaired by Ginni Rometty, chair, president and CEO of IBM, Rep. Will Hurd, R-Texas, and Lisa Monaco, co-chair of international law firm O'Melveny's data security and privacy group.

View the full report here.

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