"In a time where tech innovation is nearly synonymous with global economic status, China and South Korea's recent innovation boom has propelled both to the top of the global leaderboards," said Yuan-Sheng Yu, Senior Analyst at Lux Research and lead author of the "State of Innovation in Asia" report. "While the infatuation with Silicon Valley is still prevalent in innovation circles, we are seeing an increasing interest in Asia, and rightfully so.
This new Innovation and Creativity Access Barometer examines the flip side of the coin, assessing the policies that speed or impede citizen’s access to those new products, services, and technologies. Together, these two benchmarks tell a holistic story of the property rights and rule of law infrastructure that will determine innovative and creative success in a 21st century knowledge economy and the future of our global middle class.
The United States has entered an era of long-term competition with revisionist powers. A key aspect of this competition will revolve around a contest for technological superiority waged between the national innovation bases of the respective competitors. The outcome of this competition will determine not just American national security but also how the nations of the world interact—and whether a free and open political and economic system will remain the foundation of those interactions.
As countries increasingly vie to both achieve the highest levels of innovation-based economic growth and attract, grow, and scale innovative enterprises and industries, a growing number have turned to “innovation mercantilist” policies that seek to grow nations’ innovation-based firms and industries through policies such as local production requirements, export subsidies, weak intellectual property (IP) protection, discrimination against foreign firms, economy-specific technical requirements, and data localization requirements.
The United States became the undisputed global leader in innovation following World War II. From transistors to personal computers, from the development of the Internet to the evolution of the smart phone, America was at the frontier of the world’s technological transformation. Multiple factors drove this advancement in the post-war era: consumer demand, Cold War competition, the relentless pursuit of advancement, and strong federal leadership.
Technological change has been reshaping human life and work for centuries. The mechanization that began with the Industrial Revolution enabled dramatic improvements in human health, well-being, and quality of life—not only in the developed countries of the West, but increasingly throughout the world. At the same time, economic and social disruptions often accompanied those changes, with painful and lasting results for workers, their families, and communities. Along the way, valuable skills, industries, and ways of life were lost.
Rapid changes in the nature of work, education, technology, workforce demographics, and international competition have led the National Science Board (NSB, Board) to conclude that our competitiveness, security, and research enterprise require this critical, but often overlooked segment of our STEM-capable workforce. Adding to the near-term urgency, a National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine report predicts a shortfall of nearly 3.4 million skilled technical workers by 2022.1
China comes in second, and the European Union lags further behind. This order could change in coming years as China appears to be making more rapid progress than either the United States or the European Union. Nonetheless, when controlling for the size of the labor force in the three regions, the current U.S. lead becomes even larger, while China drops to third place, behind the European Union. This report also offers a range of policy recommendations to help each nation or region improve its AI capabilities.
Between 1940 and 2016, employment in manufacturing shifted across America from the Northeast to the Midwest and the Southeast. The industry lost ground in many places and is now the largest employer in only two states—Indiana and Wisconsin. In 1940, 23% of workers were employed in the manufacturing industry, and they were concentrated in 15 northeastern, mid-Atlantic, and Great Lakes states. As the economy shifted toward services at the beginning of the new millennium, the share of employment in manufacturing declined to less than 15%.
Now in its 12th edition, the GII is a global benchmark that helps policy makers better understand how to stimulate and measure innovative activity, a main driver of economic and social development. The GII 2019 ranks 129 economies based on 80 indicators, from traditional measurements like research and development investments and international patent and trademark applications to newer indicators including mobile-phone app creation and high-tech exports.