Extraordinary technological breakthroughs over the last 300 years have touched almost every aspect of human activity and transformed the world’s economies. The 2015 report shows how three historical breakthrough innovations – airplanes, antibiotics and semiconductors – fueled new business activity. It examines three current technologies with breakthrough potential: 3D printing, nanotechnology and robotics. And it considers the future outlook for innovation-driven growth.
We are now in the early stages of a third Industrial Revolution, with an entirely different economic logic that is causing fundamental changes in the structure of business.
For an advanced economy such as the United States, innovation is a wellspring of economic growth and a powerful tool for addressing our most pressing challenges as a nation – such as enabling more Americans to lead longer, healthier lives, and accelerating the transition to a low-carbon economy. In fact, from 1948-2012 over half of the total increase in U.S. productivity growth, a key driver of economic growth, came from innovation and technological change.
A year from now, the 2016 presidential primaries will be over, and the nominees of both parties will need to focus in earnest on the broad interests of the American people, not just the parochial concerns of their respective bases. When that time comes, this memo provides the draft of a speech that we believe is critically important for the country to hear on technology and the economy. It is about how America can flourish again, and we invite anyone to borrow from it freely.
Innovation activity is at an all-time high. Using patents as a proxy for innovation, there were more unique inventions that were published applications or granted patents over the last year than ever before in the history of humankind. Another finding this year is that while patent activity has been on an upward climb, its ascent over the past year was the slowest since the global economic recession in 2009. This could be the result of myriad factors, from changes in legislation to economic, political, social or industry stresses.
Drawing on its biennial Science and Engineering Indicators report, the NSB's latest report highlights the growing need for STEM knowledge and skills in a 21st Century economy. In 2010, 16.5 million individuals--including many in non-STEM jobs, such as sales, marketing and management--reported that their job required at least a bachelor's degree level of science and engineering (S&E) expertise. This represents about three times the number of individuals working in occupations classified as S&E (5.4 million).
Budget of the United States Government, Fiscal Year 2016 contains the Budget Message of the President, information on the President’s priorities, and summary tables. Analytical Perspectives, Budget of the United States Government, Fiscal Year 2016 contains analyses that are designed to highlight specified subject areas or provide other significant presentations of budget data that place the budget in perspective.