New Report Highlights the Role Universities Play in Driving Entrepreneurship, Job Creation, and Economic Growth
LOS ANGELES and WASHINGTON, Jan. 24, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The USC Stevens Institute for Innovation today announced a new report titled Universities in Innovation Networks: The Role and Future Promise of University Research in U.S. Science and Economic Policymaking by USC Vice Provost for Innovation Krisztina “Z” Holly. This is the fourth report in a series on U.S. science and economic competitiveness from the Doing What Works and Science Progress projects at the Center for American Progress.
The report outlines 5 key opportunities to tap into universities in order to stimulate economic growth, develop skills for a 21st century workforce, and build the technologies to advance our country’s competitiveness in manufacturing, energy, biomedicine, and other key industries. It also includes five specific policy recommendations for our nation to pursue in order to boost the global strength of our economy.
Recently, the Obama administration announced a proposal to reorganize federal agencies to create a focus on innovation and competitiveness. The new CAP paper series further explores the idea of government agency reorganization, as well as other building blocks of national competitiveness including a proposed “common application” to streamline the interface for small businesses in need of federal assistance, improvements to federal innovation statistics systems, high-skill workforce development, and university-driven technology innovation.
The report is part of a packaged set of policy proposals that the Obama administration and Congress can adopt to help the United States retain its economic and innovation leadership and ensure all Americans have the opportunity to prosper and flourish now and well into the 21st century.
Universities play a vital and extensive role in driving innovation in the United States. They offer a vast research base (a total of $50 billion nationwide), the ability to teach and develop a fresh new workforce (3 million graduates each year), goodwill of successful alumni, ability to convene disparate expertise, and a deep commitment to local communities. Universities have been important players to date, and we have an opportunity to further nurture these vibrant ecologies to sustainably generate greater innovation and economic growth.
In the context of the declining state of innovation in the United States, The US has an opportunity to tap into universities in a variety of ways, among them:
- Stoking the engine of innovation–supporting university research, the foundation for the most groundbreaking innovations and innovators that can create new industries
- Supporting the flow and application of knowledge–bringing industry expertise to academia and reducing scientific risk to enable early discoveries to advance to the stage where the private sector is willing to invest and capitalize on them
- Seeding innovation ecosystems–creating the culture, human capital, and connections necessary to form innovation networks where researchers, entrepreneurs, investors, manufacturers, and other research interests can collaborate and compete
- Measuring for success–developing the right framework and infrastructure for measuring innovation to guide policymaking and investments
- Preparing for shifts in competitiveness–rethinking assumptions and trying new approaches so that policy can drive new frontiers of innovation
Increasing globalization, connectivity, access, and acceleration of technology only make the need to invest in innovation all the more urgent. And ultimately, the nation must realize that the landscape is shifting, and what worked yesterday may not be as effective today, nor be the best approach in the future. The United States and its universities should not only accelerate its investments in research and innovation but also continually reevaluate and redesign the traditional mechanisms for doing so to prepare for the changing face of innovation long-term.
The report examines all five of these ways to stoke innovation through and around universities, relying on public and private sector support and collaboration. The report includes specific policy recommendations at the end of each chapter of this report, but here is a brief synopsis:
- Increase investments in early-stage research, targeting part of these investments toward high-risk, large-scale, transformational projects, with an emphasis on the development of talent
- Bridge the gap between early-stage research and the marketplace through policies that support technology transfer, programs that increase knowledge flow between academia and industry, and partnerships that support translational research and proof-of-concept projects
- Refocus federal economic development funding on regional and local ecosystems that develop talent and create links between researchers and the private sector
- Develop new, more comprehensive methodologies to measure the linkages between investments in innovation and the broader impacts in human capital, new products, and jobs to drive better policy decisions and incentives for innovation
- Develop radical policy experiments and incentives to enable universities to be at the forefront of trends in innovation and competitiveness as the future mechanisms of innovation change
The report will demonstrate that these recommendations are definitively appropriate for the nation to pursue in order to boost the global strength and competitiveness of science and the economy.
To speak with a Krisztina “Z” Holly on this topic after the State of the Union Address, please contact Ian Murphy on his mobile at 310.689.6397 or email@example.com
Bio for Krisztina “Z” Holly
Vice Provost for Innovation, University of Southern California
Executive Director, USC Stevens Institute for Innovation
As vice provost for innovation at the University of Southern California and founding executive director for the USC Stevens Institute for Innovation, Krisztina “Z” Holly leads a team of over 30 to translate USC’s most groundbreaking ideas to market and develop educational programs to help faculty and students make maximum impact with their ideas. Holly curates TEDxUSC, the original independently organized TED event that has spawned over 1,200 similar events worldwide. Her columns have appeared in BusinessWeek, the Huffington Post, CNN.com, Forbes, and the Economist. Before USC, Holly was an engineer and entrepreneur. Also, as the founding executive director of MIT’s Deshpande Center for Technological Innovation, she helped spin off nine startup companies from MIT research that raised over $40M in venture capital. Named one of the Champions of Free Enterprise by Forbes in 2010, she serves on various advisory boards in the United States and abroad, including the U.S. National Advisory Council of Innovation and Entrepreneurship.
The USC Stevens Institute for Innovation (http://stevens.usc.edu) is a university-wide resource in the Office of the Provost at the University of Southern California that helps identify, nurture, protect, and transfer to the market the most exciting innovations from USC. It also provides a central connection for industry seeking cutting-edge innovations in which to invest. As part of this role, the USC Stevens Institute manages the university’s intellectual property portfolio stemming from its $560M annual research program. Furthermore, the USC Stevens Institute develops the innovator as well as innovations, through educational programs, community-building events, and showcase opportunities.
The Center for American Progress is a nonpartisan research and educational institute dedicated to promoting a strong, just and free America that ensures opportunity for all. We believe that Americans are bound together by a common commitment to these values and we aspire to ensure that our national policies reflect these values. We work to find progressive and pragmatic solutions to significant domestic and international problems and develop policy proposals that foster a government that is “of the people, by the people, and for the people.”
See also: Overview: Series on U.S. Science, Innovation, and Economic Competitiveness, Rewiring the Federal Government for Competitiveness by Jonathan Sallet and Sean Pool, Economic Intelligence by Andrew D. Reamer, Building a Technically Skilled Workforce by Louis Soares and Stephen Steigleder, Immigration for Innovation by Marshall Fitz
CONTACT: Ian Murphy, USC Stevens Institute, +1-310-689-6397, firstname.lastname@example.org
SOURCE USC Stevens Institute for Innovation