DC's Plan To Be Known for Innovation

Today, DC Mayor Muriel Bowser kicks off a month of events called innoMAYtion that will bridge the gap between the most innovative people in DC and the most underserved. Funded through existing DC government resources, it will focus on small business, education, technology, the creative economy and good government. Here's a rundown of what to expect:

The worst cities to start your own business

Starting a business can be tough no matter where you are, but a study by WalletHub finds the cities where it can be even harder. The study used 13 metrics to rank 150 American cities including the cost of living, affordability of office space and educational attainment of the local labor force.

Patent reform push has new life in Senate

Senate leaders on Wednesday introduced new legislation that would crack down on “patent trolls,” reviving a push for reform that stalled in the upper chamber last year. The legislation is aimed at combating what industry groups say is growing abuse of the legal system, with the “trolls” buying up patents solely for the purpose of extracting financial settlements. With Republicans now in control of the House and Senate, advocates are hopeful the legislation can make it to President Obama, who has urged lawmakers to take action on the issue.

How Innovation Stacks Up Around the World

U.S. companies are innovating faster and more frequently than their European counterparts, according to a new study. The study also finds that automation is the key to managing an increasingly diverse, complex business environment and delivering fast, flexible services that meet escalating demand.

Here’s which states are most innovative in America

What makes a state a champion of innovation? Is it the size of its tech workforce, the speed of its broadband connectivity, its willingness to protect and foster new business models? What is the essential mix of state-level policies and practices that make a state a leader in developing new businesses and fostering a more competitive U.S. economy?

Has the U.S. lost technological supremacy?

Technology in general and digital technology specifically has impacted every aspect of our daily lives. Our dependency on it will only grow as we move toward 2020. Let's face it: Our nation's economic well-being and national security are substantially dependent upon digital technology. That's what makes the following figures so troubling.

With R&D Recognized as Investment in GDP Statistics, U.S. R&D-to-GDP Ratio Falls

Because of recent changes in the methodologies used by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), research and development is now recognized as investment in statistics on U.S. gross domestic product (GDP).  As a result, from 1929 to 2012, the average annual growth rate of GDP is 0.1 percentage point higher than in the previously published estimates. This revised GDP quantity slightly decreases the R&D-to-GDP ratio often times used as a proxy for a nation’s R&D intensity, according to a fact sheet by researchers at the National Science Foundation.

Stop China’s plan to weaken American innovation

China’s government is orchestrating a comprehensive effort to eradicate American competitors from its markets for information and communications technology (ICT) products and services. The intent is to hobble US companies competing in China, cultivate and promote China’s own domestic champions, and ultimately replace the US as the world’s ICT leader.

Maximizing innovation requires a strong patent system

How could anyone believe that innovation will be maximized, or could even exist at all, with a weak patent system that offers innovators little or no protection? A ridiculous as it seems there are many who believe that the patent system stifles innovation and that patent owners of all shapes and sizes are practically evil.

Can manufacturing regain a Renaissance lost?

Are happy days here again for American manufacturing? Optimists say yes: High global shipping costs, rising Chinese wages and a domestic shale gas boom are bringing appliance manufacturing back to Kentucky, creating automotive jobs in Tennessee and South Carolina, and leading an American competitive resurgence in a broad swath of industries. The reality is that manufacturing in America is still on a very shaky footing.

Manufacturing Universities: The Next-Generation University-Industry Partnership

ITIF praises Senators Coons, Ayotte, and Gillibrand for introducing this important piece of legislation which will help transform university-industry relations, improve America’s innovation capacity, and ultimately spur significant economic and employment growth. A national system of manufacturing universities will incentivize institutions to focus more on the advanced manufacturing research and applications that are increasingly needed in the ‘New Economy.’ It will also produce graduates that are better equipped with the knowledge and skills needed for careers in emerging, innovation-based industries. - Dr. Robert Atkinson, President of the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF)

Senator Hatch: It’s Time to Kill Patent Trolls for Good

Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) penned an op-ed in Wired on Monday outlining his must-haves in any patent reform legislation. Those include increased pleading standards, demand letter reform, a fee shifting provision, a customer stay provision and another that would ensure the recovery of legal fees. In the face of some criticism to the broad approach, he said: "I have repeatedly been told that a multi-pronged approach that tackles each of these issues is needed to effectively combat patent trolls across all levels of industry."

Peer-to-Peer Wireless Is Increasing Competition Worldwide

In some markets—including large swaths of the U.S.—just one or two companies have the right to transmit over the most versatile bands of radio spectrum or to build cable connections using public rights of way. This means those companies can dictate the terms and price of the connection, and as a result, an Internet connection in most U.S. cities is costlier and slower than it would be in cities in comparable countries, reports the New American Foundation.

Why U.S. Firms Are Dying: Failure To Innovate

The challenge is systemic: while more than half the respondents (55%) say that their organizations treat intellectual property as a valuable resource, only one in seven (16%) believed their employers regarded its development as a mission-critical function. The lack of recognition for contributions to innovation is also striking: almost half (49%) believe they won’t receive any benefit or recognition for developing successful ideas.

Sustaining Innovation Tactics That Work In Any Industry

Getting customers to purchase next year’s product is a tried and true tactic for growing revenues. Apparel companies issue new looks. Automakers launch new models. Software publishers issue new versions. Almost every company depends, to some extent, on growth through product upgrades. Product upgrades should be slam dunks because they leverage built-in customer base, company process, and sales teams. That’s why it’s shocking that a documented 25-45 percent of sustaining innovation projects fail to meet their objectives. And in practice, I’ve seen numbers closer to 60-70 percent.


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