2012 Global Innovation Policy Index

Earlier this month, The Information Technology & Innovation Foundation, in conjunction with the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, published The Global Innovation Policy Index. The report emphasized the value of having an “innovative advantage” in an increasingly globalized world arena of fierce competition. The authors believe that in crafting a nation’s policies for maximizing innovative capacity, policymakers should embrace “thoughtful and constructive” strategies that boost competitiveness without disrupting the health of the globally-beneficial innovation environment.

To accomplish this, the index identified seven core policy areas that constitute their framework for determining fifty-five nations’ innovation capacity.

  • Trade, market access and FDI
  • Science and R&D
  • Domestic competition
  • Intellectual property rights
  • Governance over information and communications technology
  • Government procurement and transparency
  • High-skill immigration

The United States ranks in the “Upper Tier” category, alongside other developed nations – such as Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Singapore, and Sweden – on overall innovation policy capacity. Notable countries residing within the “Upper-Mid Tier” include Israel, South Korea, and Spain. The BRICS countries ranked in the “Lower-Mid Tier” and the “Lower Tier.”

While the U.S. sits comfortably in the realm of the “Upper Tier,” it falls short behind several others in the categories of science and R&D and of high-skill immigration. Countries such as Chinese Taipei, Denmark, and Singapore all rank above the U.S. in science and R&D, while Brazil, China, Hong Kong, and Russia were given the same “Upper-Mid” ranking. The index identified three areas within this category that the U.S. could improve upon: R&D tax incentives, government R&D expenditure, and higher education R&D performance. The U.S. falls behind Canada, Chinese Taipei, Hong Kong, Israel, and Singapore in high-skill immigration policies. The index suggests that an immigration policy combining both the points-based and the employer-led selection systems may be the most conducive to bringing in high-skill immigrants that contribute to sustainable innovation capacity.


Posted by: Pokyee Yu

Sources: The Information Technology & Innovation Foundation

Photo Credit: Information Technology & Innovation Foundation


Ranking the “New Economy”

A new report released by the Information Technology & Innovation Foundation (ITIF) and the Kauffman Foundation found that “Unless the United States addresses its fundamental economic competitiveness challenges, it will be difficult for the U.S. economy and, by extension, individual economies to thrive.”  The report, entitled, “The 2010 State Economy Index: Benchmarking Economic Transformation in the States,” ranks all fifty states using twenty-six indicators to asses their economic capacity and to what extent they are “knowledge-based, globalized, entrepreneurial, IT-driven, and innovation-based.”

Success in what the authors deem the “New Economy” stems from individual states’ ability to adapt to new economic cycles and promote innovation.  The report, which ranks the states in categories ranging from workforce education to the level of foreign direct investment, argues that “if the recent economic recession has taught economists anything, it should be that economic growth and stability stem from a mix of highly productive and innovative industries.”

Four of the five states that have most demonstrated these attributes are in the Northeast, with the fifth being from the Pacific Northwest.  Taking the top rank for the fourth time is Massachusetts, which enjoys a strong network of different technology sectors supported by a plethora of top-rated universities.  Washington state, number two in the rankings, benefits from large corporations such as Microsoft and especially Boeing, but also from its strong investment in digital technology.  Coming in at third, Maryland benefits from a large concentration of well-educated workers who are employed in Washington, D.C.  New Jersey and Connecticut, fourth and fifth respectively, rank high due to their educated workforce while benefiting from strong defense and financial industries and high foreign direct investment.

The report points to the need for high levels of innovation, as seen in the top ranking states, in order to jumpstart an economy in which “Highly innovative economies are characterized by a diverse mix of high-paying, capital-intense, and productive industries.”  While the top ranking states enjoy many of the same attributes they are not all in lockstep.  Washington, for example, ranked 43rd in job-churning and 34th in high-wage trade services.

While the report focuses on the domestic ranking of individual states, a prior blog entry examines the role of competitiveness on a world scale.

Posted by: Michael Darden

Sources: The Information Technology & Innovation Foundation, TechFlash

Photo Credit: “Innovation” courtesy of flickr user Thomas Hawk

The Tribulations of Innovation Policy

A recent report issued by the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation entitled “The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of Innovation Policy” evaluates the innovation policies of different countries and their impact on the global economic system, as well as the sectors in which most innovation policies are implemented.  The authors discuss how innovation, which they define as “the improvement of existing or the creation of entirely new products, processes, services, and business or organizational models”, has four possible outcomes for both the host country and the world: Good, Bad, Ugly and Self-Destructive.” According to the authors: “Good,” benefits the country and the world simultaneously; “Bad,” fails to benefit either the country or the world; “Ugly,” benefits the country at the expense of other nations;  “Self-destructive,” hurts the country while benefiting others.

The report finds that, “far too many countries place a dominant focus on exporting tradable goods as their path to economic growth, while neglecting the opportunity to spur economic growth by raising the productivity of the non-traded sectors of their economy.”  In fact, some argue that China best exemplifies this new trend.

In order to innovate successfully the authors of the report recommend that governments find an appropriate balance within the “Innovation Policy Triangle”: business, technology, and regulations.  The report concludes by arguing that countries must stop viewing unipolarity as the major goal, but rather, embrace the position that mutual global prosperity is the major goal.

Posted by: Wesley Milillo

Sources: huffingtonpost.com, ITIF, digitalsociety.org, Innovationamerica.us

Photo credit: Destination: Future courtesy of flickr user Gilderic

Addressing the Innovation Gap

According to a presentation by Robert Atkinson, President of the Information Technology & Innovation Foundation (ITIF), the United States is now ranked sixth out of forty countries in innovation-based competititveness.  In order to better understand this report, Ideas in Action with Jim Glassman invited three experts to discuss the implications of these findings and ways to reignite the American innovation machine in a program entitled, “Is America Suffering an Innovation Gap?

During the discussion Atkinson argued that in order to overcome this innovation gap, America needs to “focus laser-like on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education.”  Michael Mandel, Editor-In-Chief of Visible Economy LLC, stressed that incremental innovations seen in some sectors of the economy will not be enough to drive economic growth.  Sheryl Schwartz, Chief Operating Officer of Blue Canopy Consulting, cited a number of examples of private sector programs which have bolstered innovation.  While Schwartz struck a more optimistic tone, she also urged the federal government to incentivize innovation and “set bold goals.”

Posted by: Monica Schager

Sources: The Information Technology & Innovation Foundation, Ideas in Action with Jim Glassman

Photo Credit: Ideas in Action with Jim Glassman