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­U.S. Said to Be Losing Competitive Edge

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The U.S. economy has lost much of its competitive edge during the past decade, concludes a new Information Technology and Innovation Foundation report. The United States ranked sixth among 40 countries and regions, based on 16 indicators of innovation and competitiveness, and placed last in terms of progress made over the last decade. The indicators included venture capital investment, scientific researchers, spending on research, and educational achievement. The report mirrors a 2005 report by the National Academies, which warned that the U.S.'s lead in science and technology was eroding while many other nations were strengthening their science and technology sectors. The report says that countries such as Singapore, Taiwan, Finland, and China are pursuing policies that nurture a broader "ecology of innovation," which generally includes education, training, intellectual property protection, and immigration. Overall, the most innovatively competitive nation was Singapore, largely due to a national innovation strategy that features heavy investments and recruiting lead scientists and technologists from around the world. Information Technology and Innovation Foundation president Robert D. Atkinson says the U.S. should create government programs to attract investment and talent and to improve the workforce skills of local workers. The report recommends federal incentives for U.S. companies to innovate at home, ranging from research tax incentives to workforce development tax credits.

New York Times
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