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US economy vs. other countries

在文檔中 美國創新之分析 (頁 45-49)

3 Innovation measurements in the US

3.1 US economy vs. other countries

Currently, the United States has the world‘s largest economy, with a

purchasing power of $14.29 trillion (CIA Factbook, 2009). Goldman Sachs observes that if current trends continue, China will have the world‘s largest economy by 2041.

This trend was underscored in 2006 when China raised $53.5 billion through 155 Initial Public Offerings (IPOs), making China the world‘s leading IPO market. With growing global competition, particularly in the rising competitive power of countries in Asia, the pressure for U.S. policy makers to develop effective innovation policy for the future is increasingly critical.

This growing perception that greater opportunities abound outside the United States is largely due to an increased global focus on competition in the field of innovation. While the United States invests $300 billion annually in R&D through public and private means, our commitment as evidenced by the percentage of GDP places the U.S. in a second tier ranking.

The gross domestic product (GDP) or gross domestic income (GDI) is one of the measures of national income and output for a given country‘s economy. It is the total value of all final goods and services produced in a particular economy; the dollar value of all goods and services produced within a country‘s borders in a given year.

To date, the strength of the U.S. economy has served to offset the lower commitment to innovative advancement. Goldman Sachs, however, predicts that the United States may not be able to retain that position.

U.S. is recognizing the need to approach innovation policy in a comprehensive manner, integrating the efforts of state governments, venture capitalists, universities, industry, angel investors, the general public and the Federal Government. Early-stage

technology development is a significant part of this comprehensive approach to innovation policy. Research by Branscomb and Auerswald (2002) indicates that the Federal Government provides between 20 and 25 percent of all funds for early-stage technology development. By integrating the efforts of all stakeholders in the

innovative process, federal contributions through competitive government awards are able to meet a need that is not fulfilled by industry or by other stakeholders. These national interventions often address segments of the innovative process that private industry investors find too risky. And while not all national investments produce viable economic returns, the broad application of these investments significantly strengthens the innovative process.

In 1977, Merrill Lynch launched the first CMA (Cash Management Account).

The revolutionary new product combined an investment account, a transaction account (that pays interest on balances through automatic sweep), a debit card, and a credit line secured by the securities in the investment account. It was a major success, and was soon copied by almost every securities firm. The CMA promise was one-stop shopping convenience for clients, enhanced broker productivity, enhanced broker and client loyalty to the firm, and enhanced cross-selling and share-of-wallet.

One of the roles of public policy in fostering innovation is national financial investment in good ideas, ideas that often come from small firms. In the United States, small firms are responsible for the creation of between 60 and 80 percent of new jobs in the U.S. workforce, and these small firms with big ideas are a critical aspect of market-driven growth in the economy67. The United States recognizes the importance of equity-financed small firms, particularly as a means of capitalizing on new ideas and bringing them to market. In an effort to reduce the structural and financial hurdles faced by small firms in bringing ideas to fruition, U.S. policy makers have developed

a variety of tools to aid small firms in their development. Some of these programs include innovation awards such as the Advanced Technology Program (ATP)68 and the Small Business Innovation (SBIR)69 Program. These and other programs have been highly successful in helping small innovative firms overcome initial hurdles.

They have also improved the network of American innovators by connecting these small innovative companies with U.S. universities and with larger, more established firms.

While the United States boasts the world‘s largest economy, the rate of economic growth in other competing nations threatens to overtake the US, should current trends persist, particularly nations in Asia. And despite a tremendous economy, the US is sinking deeper into debt along with its European counterparts. France

currently has an external debt of $5 trillion which is rapidly rising. The United Kingdom has an external debt of $10.45 trillion and Germany currently has an external debt of $4.4 trillion.

Along with the United States, Europe is similarly feeling the pressure of increasing competition. In an effort to build solidarity and economic power, many European nations converted to an international currency, the Euro. Policy struggles in Europe also center on challenges in the banking industry as well as others. The

conversion to an international currency has facilitated trade between European nations but it has also limited the growth of economically stronger nations which are now impacted by foreign struggling economies. For this reason some nations in Europe such as the United Kingdom decided against adopting the Euro. Despite these efforts, European nations are currently experiencing the same economic fate that the United States is troubled by.

Asian countries by contrast are experiencing unprecedented growth. Much of the external debt mounting in European nations and the United States has been

financed by countries like China which currently holds $1 trillion is US treasury debt.

The increased global pressure from competition is largely driven by Asian nations where a majority of the world population is located. With nearly 7 billion people in the world, over half or 4 billion live in Asia. The growing economic strength of these nations are empowering a great many people with the tools to compete internationally.

在文檔中 美國創新之分析 (頁 45-49)