Businessman showing gearsIn October 2015, the Obama Administration unveiled an updated Strategy for American Innovation. The strategy, first issued in 2009, provides an overview of the Administration’s efforts to ensure America continues to lead as the world’s most innovative economy, to develop the industries of the future, and to harness innovation to help address our nation’s most important challenges. It’s a new year, so a good time to review the three core components of the strategy, which focus on:

  • The importance of investing in research and development (R&D) and the other building blocks of long-term economic growth.
  • Strategic areas from advanced vehicles to precision medicine where focused effort can advance national priorities and help create shared prosperity.
  • New efforts to make the federal government more innovative to improve performance and create a better environment for innovation by the private sector and civil society.

For an advanced economy such as the United States, innovation is a wellspring of economic growth as well a powerful tool for addressing our most pressing challenges as a nation – such as enabling more Americans to lead longer, healthier lives, and accelerating the transition to a low-carbon economy. In fact, from 1948-2012 over half of the total increase in U.S. productivity growth, a key driver of economic growth, came from innovation and technological change.

Because it supplies nearly three-quarters of all U.S. private-sector research and development, American manufacturing is central to the Administration’s strategy for innovation — both to discoveries being made today and the country’s ability to drive productivity and job growth in the future. The strategy highlights several new areas of strategic opportunity – including advanced manufacturing — where a more focused public-private effort could advance national priorities and help create shared prosperity.

The Administration’s strategy is available at:


Excerpt from January 2016 NWIRC newsletter article by Bob Bengel, NWIRC President/CEO