China is closing the global innovation gap with the US. Fast, very fast. That’s according to the recently published Global Innovation Index: Energizing the World with Innovation. A collaboration between Cornell University, INSEAD, and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) as co-publishers, and their Knowledge Partners (Cornell University and Partners report), relies on international patent filings and scientific publishing activity to identify innovation clusters in 126 countries; and come up with a global innovation ranking.
Google may speak about moon-shot ambition, but its Waymo self-driving car firm has yet to gain commercial traction. Apple may speak about its technological prowess, but it is only seeing its revenue decline and its Chinese position unseated. Facebook may speak about virtual reality as the next user interface, but it can’t even rid its newsfeed of fake news. There is a ceiling on how fast the internet giants can innovate.
South Korea retained the global crown in the 2019 Bloomberg Innovation Index, though improvements by Germany in research and education brought Europe’s largest economy to near-parity in the annual ranking. The U.S. moved up to eighth place, a year after cracks in education scores pushed it out of the top 10 for the first time.
While he has offered lip-service to the idea that Apple's next great innovation is right around the corner, most recently in this Jan. 2 letter to shareholders, Cook has taken abandoned Jobs's idea that Apple needs to innovate its way to success. Here are the three most recent signs that Apple has lost its innovation mojo.
While diplomats at the State Department are negotiating hard to pave the way for American innovation, U.S. regulators such as the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) have been slow to make pronouncements regarding cryptocurrencies. This has hampered innovation and left many American businesses in regulatory limbo, particularly with respect to whether or not their tokens are classified as securities.
The increase in U.S. patents comes as the U.S. and China are embroiled in a trade war with a sticking point over Chinese firm’s accessing the intellectual property of U.S. tech companies. The report noted the increase in patents also marks a shift in how tech companies are operating in China. As one example, the report pointed to Huawei, which has beefed up its internal research and development as it aims to expand around the globe.
As it has for the past quarter century, IBM today topped the charts for U.S. patent holders, with 9,100 patents granted in 2018. This is the 26th consecutive year that IBM has claimed the number one spot on the annual list of U.S. patent recipients.
One of the best ways to measure the effectiveness of state programs intended to encourage the success of SBIR applications is the approval-rate of their submissions. Although this data has been historically unavailable across every federal agency, it is now accessible for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the second largest provider of SBIR/STTR awards, according to a 2018 Digest report.
While Gates promised more insights on his personal resolution in the weeks ahead, he remains confident in technology's ability to improve our lives. "What connects it all is my belief that innovation can save lives and improve everyone's well-being," wrote Gates. "A lot of people underestimate just how much innovation will make life better."
The introductory coin for the American Innovation $1 coin program goes on sale Dec. 14 at noon Eastern Time from the U.S. Mint. The noncirculating 2018 coin will be offered in numismatic products, at premiums above face value.