Well, as promised, yesterday’s Innovation Summit (officially the “National Summit on Competitiveness“) did not disappoint. NAM President John Engler opened it up with a keynote speech in which he said, “It is vividly clear that America’s economy must accelerate innovation and the development and utilization of technology if it is to compete successfully in the 21st century.” That seems like a no-brainer to us, but it’s not.
As usual, NAM Board members large and small shone — from Jim Berges of Emerson to Mary Andringa of Vermeer and Della Williams of Williams-Pyro. Andringa funds summer workshops for math and science teachers according to this Business Week article, while Della Williams has struggled to retain foreign-born graduates of local universities. We are in a global competition for talent and federal policies should recognize that. Also, as we said long ago in a study by noted economist Joel Popkin entitled, “Securing America’s Future: The Case for a strong Manufacturing Base“, innovation is at the beginning of the manufacturing process. If we lose that, we ultimately lose the manufacturing base and with it, the American standard of living.
We don’t ask for handouts, we ask only for government to mostly get out of the way and to provide incentives to keep innovation alive and to keep the best and brightest here in the US.
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