Falcon Heavy’s launch was seemingly flawless. Reminiscent of the ‘90s space shuttle or ‘60s Apollo mission days, people gathered around to watch the huge rocket launch into space. The Falcon Heavy’s side boosters landed perfectly side by side at landing pads for “future reuse” -- a concept unheard of in the aerospace industry.
The Chinese New Year began with the traditional lighting of firecrackers on Friday, but the country's military has been working on incendiaries on an entirely different scale. Over the past year, the nation that invented gunpowder has been rolling out an array of high-tech weapons that some experts say could threaten the global superiority of the United States.
Today, the U.S. and Germany are dropping in ranks as innovation champions while Japan and China are rising. The survey also revealed that business executives are favoring protectionist policies as a way to keep jobs in their countries — but globalization is still viewed as a driving force for innovation.
This year the United States edged out the United Kingdom by a mere .01 points on the Chamber scale. The U.S. position was helped by improved scores relating to copyrights and trademarks, but was dragged down as the U.S. patent ranking decreased for the sixth consecutive year as the result of a patent climate that the Chamber characterizes as causing “considerable uncertainty for innovators.”
Although there are some positive outcomes illustrating the power of the patent system, there have also been some significant missteps in the other direction. By moving one step forward, but two steps back, the United States is losing ground as an innovative leader. A quick look at one recent case may help illustrate these ideas:
More than 80 percent of Americans age 65-plus live in metropolitan areas,[i] and nearly 90 percent of older adults in the U.S. want to age in their homes and communities.[ii] Thus, the “Best Cities for Successful Aging” index is not intended to identify the locales to which older adults should retire. Instead, the index and report are designed to highlight the nation’s most livable metropolitan areas—those that enable an optimal quality of life for their aging citizens.
The potential of the ISS for R&D was expanded in 2011 when the Center for Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS), a non-profit, non-government organization, was selected as the manager of the research facility, with a focus on enabling a new era of space research to improve life on Earth. This change brought significantly more interest from researchers across academia and industry to the ISS National Laboratory, explained Michael Roberts, PhD, Deputy Chief Scientist, CASIS.
Another consumer protection issue that continues to be on our radar is self-driving cars. We need to make sure these vehicles are safe for consumers and at the same time promote innovation in this space. That’s why we passed the SELF DRIVE Act -- a first-of-its-kind piece of legislation -- to do just that. It passed the Energy and Commerce Committee in a bipartisan 54-0 vote and then received unanimous approval in the House.
U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, today chaired a full committee field hearing at the Washington Auto Show to discuss the innovation, research, and development of advanced vehicle technologies and their impacts on our energy security and infrastructure.
To maximize innovation and growth, all of our brightest youth should have the opportunity to become inventors. But a study we recently conducted, jointly with Neviana Petkova of the U.S. Treasury, paints a very different picture. We found that a child’s potential for future innovation seems to have as much to do with the circumstances of his or her family background as it does with his or her talent.