U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry today announced that the Department of Energy will award 231 grants totaling $46 million to 202 small businesses in 39 states and the District of Columbia. Funded through DOE’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs, today’s selections are for Phase I research and development.
The Senate Small Business Committee held a hearing yesterday on “Reauthorization of the SBA’s Innovation Programs,” which had a heavy emphasis on SBIR/STTR.
There's an argument to be made about some of the ways that Chinese tech innovators are gaining. But it's hard to dispute that the U.S. has a formidable competitor that is catching up in key technology sectors. Yes, China's tech titans have been acquiring high-tech companies in America's innovation hubs, subsidizing next-generation breakthroughs, favoring home-grown Chinese companies, recruiting highly skilled, western-educated engineers, and blocking American internet leaders from access.
A lack of innovation is China’s “Achilles heel”, President Xi Jinping warned in an article given high prominence by state media on Thursday, where he also bemoaned the economy for being big yet without being strong. Xi’s comments, carried in the latest issue of the ruling Communist Party’s influential bimonthly theoretical journal Qiu Shi, were made in a speech in January 2016, and originally published a year later in a collection of Xi’s speeches.
The U.S. is losing its advantage to China and other countries when it comes to innovations related to artificial intelligence, blockchain and other key technology, according to an analysis of patent filings over the past decade. While American inventors still command the largest portion of the nation’s patents, the percentage is dropping in the high-tech fields, according to a yearlong study conducted by the law firm Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP and researchers at GreyB Services Pte.
In a grocery store somewhere in North America, a small drone floats from aisle to aisle, hovering like a hummingbird that has traded its nimble wings for tiny propellers. Each time the autonomous robot drops down to scan a crowded shelf using an onboard camera, the machine collects valuable data about the store's ever-changing inventory.
There is broad support in the United States for faster economic growth--a goal that ultimately depends on boosting labor productivity. In the long run, that requires more innovation, a big component of which comes from private research and development (R&D). But what, if anything, can countries do to increase domestic innovation?
So much has been said about design thinking, lean startup and agile as the way innovation should be practised. However, the organizations that have employed these strategies, including former companies I was a part of, are in a state of denial that doing these things will actually make your company more innovative.
Innovation drives productivity, and productivity is what drives jobs growth and the wealth that pays for our health, education, defence and social security systems. In short, innovation really matters. Governments, businesses and academics obsess over it. We need to know what works, what doesn’t and why - and that means turning to measurements and metrics. But can we really measure innovation today?