Innovation Needs to be a Central Focus of the Federal Budget

As American manufacturing continues its slow recovery from the Great Recession, improved competitiveness and innovation need to remain strong federal priorities. It’s therefore heartening to note that the President’s FY 2016 budget request illustrates the administration’s belief in the power of public/private research partnerships to restore American industry’s competitive edge in advanced industries.

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.

Why Innovation Must Go Beyond Disruption

Henry Ford famously quipped that if he’d asked what people wanted, they’d have said, “faster horses.” There are countless numbers of ideas being funded every day that are aimed at essentially building faster horses. The result is that we have available an enormous embarrassment of riches in technology, information and economy – but how many of them are truly groundbreaking or innovative?

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.

The World's 50 Most Innovative Companies

Fast Company’s 2015 list of World’s 50 Innovative companies had a few surprises for global market observers. The first surprise is that Warby Parker topped the list, beating Apple. Apple has been on and off the top of the list in recent years.

Ford accelerates carbon fibre research for innovation in manufacturing technology

Ford has announced a significant new collaboration to develop manufacturing innovations in automotive-grade carbon fiber. Ford and DowAksa will be part of the U.S. Government-created Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation. The innovation enables acceleration of Ford research and development of low-cost, high-volume carbon fiber; could reduce vehicle weight, increase fuel efficiency without sacrificing strength.

Why Innovation Almost Always Fails

The innovation lessons I took away from DARPA are nearly impossible for private and especially public corporations to implement: just too many things have to be true for corporate innovation to work – and they seldom are. Before we begin, let’s exclude companies like Apple, Google and Samsung where innovation is a well-funded core competency. Aspects of their innovation processes and culture are DARPA-like. But when most companies try to innovate, they fail miserably and almost always tend to eventually be disrupted by start-ups, like LegalZoom, Amazon or Uber (which themselves eventually face innovation challenges).

There’s a new renaissance emerging for energy innovation

A renaissance of creativity around developing innovations for energy has emerged in the wake of Silicon Valley’s cleantech bust in the U.S. It’s taken several years to materialize. Bolstered by a series of energy success stories, this newfound creativity has been propped up by increasingly low costs of clean energy technologies and energy storage, and has floated on a change in the political winds.

Is inequality responsible for America's innovation gap?

If trial-and-error experimentation is what we’re after, then we want to maximize the number and diversity of people who can engage in it. The more heads the better. We want to maximize the number of people with economic security, so they feel they can afford the risks of entrepreneurship and innovation. We want to maximize the distribution of leisure time, so people have the freedom to tinker. And we want to maximize access to the knowledge and resources that make that tinkering possible.

Why Big Cities Promote Less Innovation Than They Once Did

When it comes to new ideas, city size may not matter as much today as it did in the past. The likely reason for the shift is as simple as it is predictable: digital communication. A connected world not only gives people wider access to new ideas, but it also gives people wider access to the discussion of those ideas—both types of exchanges that once occurred more often in person.

The Challenge of Making Sure Innovation Sticks

By attempting to weave a culture of innovation into the somewhat rigid and ragged fabric of government it must be considered that we are setting the stage for continuous change and, therefore, continuous resistance. So, the big question when we successfully innovate is: How do we make it stick?

Protecting American intellectual property vital to economic growth

With both sides of the aisle focusing on bettering the middle class this new Legislative session, Congress should consider determining how to better protect the intellectual property of innovative Americans. America’s knowledge-based economy requires international treaties and enforcement of current laws to keep American IP safe and to encourage innovation.

The 10 Most Innovative Tech Hubs In The U.S.

As increasing numbers of job seekers turn their attention to startups and the tech industry, every city seems eager to position itself as a hub for innovators and big ideas. But which cities can back up those claims?

Everyone has something to say about revived Wi-Fi Innovation Act

The legislation, originally pitched last summer, urges the FCC to test the feasibility of opening up spectrum at the higher end of the 5GHz band (5850-5925) for unlicensed Wi-Fi use. Cable and other tech companies are all for this, while automakers and their partners are opposed, citing possible interference with car safety systems they are becoming more mainstream.

Update on Patent Reform: “Innovation Act” Re-Introduced

Rep. Bob Goodlatte, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, has re-introduced a bill – called the Innovation Act – aimed at reforming certain aspects of the U.S. patent system. This bill revives a similar bill that passed the House in 2014 but stalled in the Senate.


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