Over the past 50 years, the United States has led the world in science and technology innovation. Yet now there are troubling signs of a downward trend in American innovation. Last year, for example, was the first time that non-U.S. innovators filed more patents than Americans; the United States is also falling behind other countries in the percentage of gross domestic product spent on national research and development.
On June 8, the Brookings Institution hosted a forum on improving U.S. science and technology innovation and investment. The inaugural A. Alfred Taubman Forum convened leaders from government, higher education, and business to discuss policy actions that will improve the climate for science and technology in the United States.
Brookings Managing Director Bill Antholis welcomed participants to the forum, which included Aneesh Chopra, U.S. Chief Technology Officer; Vivek Kundra, Federal Chief Information Officer; Phil Weiser, Senior Advisor to the National Economic Council Director for Technology and Innovation; and Richard Howard, Deputy Chief Technologist of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Rep. Bart Gordon (D-Tenn.), chairman of the House Committee on Science and Technology, offered a congressional perspective at lunch.
After each panel, participants took audience questions.
On the one hand the U.S. wants to be defending U.S. companies overseas and they are going to see this as vindictive, particularly in going after Apple’s profits retroactively. But in the bigger picture the U.S. is taking moves to fight inversions and improve the global system.