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Monday, October 08, 2012


Innovation Economics: The Race For Global Advantage by Robert D. Atkinson & Stephen J. Ezzell

Innovation Economics

The Race for Global Advantage

By: Robert D. Atkinson, Stephen J. Ezell

Published: September 4, 2012
Format: Hardcover, 440 pages
ISBN-10: 0300168993
ISBN-13: 978-0300168990
Publisher: Yale University Press

"This book examines how America is losing the race for global innovation advantage and what it needs to do to come from behind and lead once again", write internationally acclaimed thought leader on innovation economics, Robert D. Atkinson; and Senior Analyst with the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, Stephen J. Ezell, in their landmark and forward looking book Innovation Economics: The Race for Global Advantage. The authors describe how decades of neglect have caused American innovation to languish and fall behind key competing nations, and provide a positive blueprint for restoring American leadership in innovation and for laying the groundwork for a stronger domestic economy.

Robert D. Atkinson (photo left) and Stephen Ezell recognize the critical importance of innovation to building a strong economy. For America to regain its leadership in innovation, write the authors, there must be stronger commitment to domestic research and development. The authors point out that the manufacturing base in the United States has eroded severely as jobs have been offshored to competing countries,

At the same time, the capital remaining was invested in unproductive housing and market speculation. While American business and government have ignored innovation, such has not been the case in other countries around the world. The authors share the good news that it is not too late for a return to leadership in innovation for America. The key, according to the authors, is to make changes in priorities starting immediately.

Stephen J. Ezell (photo left) and Robert Atkinson understand that the current conventional wisdom of offshoring, speculative investments, and a lack of research and development will only push American innovation farther behind its competitors. As a result, the authors recommend a fresh approach that includes borrowing ideas from those same competing nations. The authors also suggest a complete reappraisal of innovation and funding in both the public and private sector.

The authors propose eight steps toward restoring innovation and rebuilding America's leadership in the global economy. Those eight steps, or "I's" as the authors call them, are as follows:

* Inspiration: Setting ambitious goals
* Intention: Make innovation-based competitiveness a national priority
* Insight: Improving understanding of innovative performance
* Incentives: Encouraging innovation, production, and jobs in the USA
* Investment: More public funding for innovation and productivity
* Institutional innovation: Doing new things in new ways
* Informational technology transformation
* International framework for innovation

For me, the power of the book is how Robert D. Atkinson and Stephen J. Ezell combine an incisive overview of how the United States has declined as an innovation leader, with an actionable road map to reestablishing American leadership. The authors present a powerful case in support of taking immediate action for increasing research and development efforts to support greatly enhanced innovation. The authors provide a wake up call that America is losing the innovation race, and must undertake new policies in both government and within private industry. The book is not all doom and gloom, however. The authors provide a powerful action plan for the restoration of America's innovation leadership, but it will require new ways of thinking and looking at the challenges. The barriers can be overcome, and this book provides a comprehensive plan for rebuilding that innovative dynamic in American industry and government.

I highly recommend the important and must read book Innovation Economics: The Race for Global Advantage by Robert D. Atkinson and Stephen J. Ezell, to any business leaders, politicians, public sector policy makers, academics, union leaders, and anyone who is seeking a comprehensive plan for restoring America's global innovation leadership. This book will change the way you think about investment, innovation, and the global economy.


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