You are Invited: Private Sector Innovation for Emergency Communications

Private Sector Innovation for Emergency Communications

Tuesday November 1, 2011  4:30-6:00 pm

5th Floor Conference Room, Woodrow Wilson Center

Congress and the Administration are working to create a national public safety broadband network. The network will provide interoperable voice and data communications for emergency responders nationwide, and offers an opportunity to leverage mission critical technologies such as geospatial and social media that will dramatically enhance the way public safety prepares for and responds to emergencies.  Closing the gap between the emergency responders and private sector innovators is vital to achieving the full potential of the national public safety broadband network.  To do so we need to ask the following questions:

  • What new technologies and applications in both the commercial and public safety markets are currently being developed that could be leveraged through the deployment and adoption of a national public safety broadband network?
  • What new technologies and applications are in the pipeline which 5-10 years from now might aid the public safety and homeland security community?
  • How do we create public-private partnerships to make this critical leap, both in technology innovation and adoption, as a nation?

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Posted by: PAGE Staff

STEM Education and Sports

While seemingly unrelated, STEM education and athletics are becoming more and more intertwined.  In the recently released motion picture Moneyball baseball scouts and managers develop a mathematical and statistical analysis of players performances called sabermetrics.  Similarly, computer aided scheduling, which utilizes an algorithm to determine the complex recipe of home and away games, was first implemented during the 1997-1998 National Collegiate Athletic Association season.

There are also growing methods in which STEM fields are designed to appeal to students in the same ways that athletic competitions do.  Most notably FIRST Robotics, in which teams of students build robots and enter into athletic-like competitions.

More predictably, STEM fields are also impacting sporting equipment and technological components of athletics as safety concerns rise.  In June 2011 the House Science Committee on “STEM Education in Action” addressed the success of the Toshiba/NSTA ExploraVision National Science Competition, in which a group of grade schoolers built a prototype for the HEADS UP! HELMET.  The product is a helmet that not only protects soldiers from traumatic brain injury, but one that also can be used on the playing field for high-contact sports such as football in coming years in an effort to “help prevent the growing number of concussions in children and athletes.”

Posted by: Carolyn Bantz

Sources: The Atlantic, FIRST Robotics, HEADS UP! HELMET, Science Daily, US House Committee on Science

Photo credit: Moneyball Movie courtesy of flickr user pursuethepassion.

Innovation and Poverty

When one pictures a hotbed of innovation, an image of a university classroom or science laboratory is usually the first thought that comes to mind.  An exhibit at the United Nations arranged by the Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, however, is doing just the opposite.  The exhibit is dedicated to showing how urban slums can act as a breeding ground for innovative ideas.

Given the nature of life in an urban slum, the needs to be addressed are different from those in the more developed nations.  The innovations on display include repurposing steel drums into laptops, and prefabricated architectural pieces from Venezuela designed to become ‘Vertical Gyms.’  The Vertical Gym project is already exploring partnership options in New York City, the Netherlands, and Jordan.

This is not the only or the first example of innovation in less developed areas of the world.  A phenomenon, which has been termed ‘trickle-up innovation’ is one in which innovative ideas first take place in developing areas and then, if successful, make their way back to richer nations.  The practice shows no signs of abating as the United States Agency for International Development recently announced a grant designed to unlock the power of Africa’s innovators and entrepreneurs.

Posted by: Georgina Ellison

Sources: USAID, cbs.com, fastcompany.com

Photo credit: Moneymaker Block Press_2056 courtesy of flickr user hoyasmeg

Reminder: Two Events Tomorrow

At noon, Wilson Center on the Hill is hosting an event on Capitol Hill entitled ‘Congress: Global Finance and Global Development.’  More information can be found here.

At 3:00 pm, PAGE Director Kent Hughes will be appearing on a panel at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.  The event is titled ‘Restructuring Sovereign Debt.’  More information can be found here.

Posted by: PAGE Staff

New Digest – Innovation and Entrepreneurship: The Right Combination for Growth?

On October 7, 2011, Wilson Center on the Hill hosted an event titled, “Innovation and Entrepreneurship: The Right Choice for Growth?” Three panelists, Amy Wilkinson, Philip Auerswald, and Brink Lindsey, along with moderator Kent Hughes, addressed the importance of innovation and entrepreneurship in creating economic growth.

Brink Lindsey, a senior scholar at the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, proposed solutions to the issue of “structural doom and gloom” often brought up by economists. Lindsey argued that unemployment and concerns regarding innovation are problems that can be solved through effective entrepreneurship. He contended that jobs come from startup firms, and from 1997-2005 these firms were the only source of net new jobs. The barriers to entry for new firms need to be eliminated, he noted, and road blocks to growth must be identified.

Lindsey summarized the proposed Start-Up Act as a path out of the recession and to renewed prosperity.  In particular, he emphasized three elements of the Act:  establishing an “entrepreneur” visa, implementing tax advantages for start-up firms, and increased access to capital markets. Immigration was an especially crucial issue, Lindsey argued, as students who come to the U.S. from abroad to study STEM subjects often find it too difficult to stay. Today’s innovative companies have a large international workforce, and immigrants are an important asset to the U.S. economy. Lindsey also encouraged a balance between regulatory costs and regulation, while noting that regulation is most efficient at the local level. He urged the United States to consider using the World Bank’s model for regulation, which focuses on states and localities. Lindsey concluded by arguing that the U.S. needs “well-structured rules that allow creative and innovate people to be creative and innovative.” Read more of this post

You are Invited – Congress: Global Finance and Global Development

Invitation to a Program on America and the Global Economy and Wilson Center on the Hill Event:

 Congress: Global Finance and Global Development

Wednesday, October 26, 2011, 12:00-1:15 p.m.

B-340 Rayburn House Office Building

The author of  Legislating International Organization:  The US Congress, the IMF, and the World Bank, will discuss how  the U.S. Congress, tracing its long history of involvement with these institutions, wields significant influence.  The impact of the 2008 financial crisis has focused American politics on the global role played by the IMF and World Bank.

KATHRYN LAVELLE, Author and Ellen and Dixon Long Associate Professor of World Affairs, Case Western Reserve University

Moderated by: KENT HUGHES, Director, Program on America and the Global Economy, Wilson Center 

Please RSVP acceptances only to onthehill@wilsoncenter.org or 202-691-4357.

Posted by: PAGE Staff

You are Invited – Book Launch: Legislating International Organization

The Program on America and the Global Economy (PAGE) Presents a Book Discussion:

Legislating International Organization:  The US Congress, the IMF, and the World Bank

Kathryn Lavelle, Author, former Fellow, Woodrow Wilson Center and Ellen and Dixon Long Associate Professor of World Affairs, Case Western Reserve University

Moderated by: Kent Hughes, Director, PAGE, Woodrow Wilson Center

Covering the history of the IMF and World Bank from their origins, Lavelle shows that domestic political constituencies in advanced industrial states have always been important drivers of international financial institution policy. She focuses in particular on the U.S. Congress, tracing its long history of involvement with these institutions and showing how the Congress wields significant influence. The impact of 2008 financial crisis has focused American politics on the global role played by the IMF and World Bank.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011 ~ 9:00 – 10:30 a.m.     6th Floor Moynihan Boardroom, Woodrow Wilson Center

Please RSVP acceptances only to page@wilsoncenter.org

Posted by: PAGE Staff

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