Extraordinary technological breakthroughs over the last 300 years have touched almost every aspect of human activity and transformed the world’s economies. The 2015 report shows how three historical breakthrough innovations – airplanes, antibiotics and semiconductors – fueled new business activity. It examines three current technologies with breakthrough potential: 3D printing, nanotechnology and robotics. And it considers the future outlook for innovation-driven growth.
We are now in the early stages of a third Industrial Revolution, with an entirely different economic logic that is causing fundamental changes in the structure of business.
For an advanced economy such as the United States, innovation is a wellspring of economic growth and 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.
The Global Innovation Index (GII) 2015 covers 141 economies around the world and uses 79 indicators across a range of themes. Thus GII 2015 presents us with a rich dataset to identify and analyse global innovation trends. The theme for this year’s GII is ‘Effective Innovation Policies for Development’. Taking advantage of the wealth of information produced by the GII analysis in its past editions, the outcome of various innovation policies can be reviewed to support their claims to effectiveness and to determine the impact that an economy’s degree of development has on their efficacy.
The report is based on a March 2015 workshop supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and sponsored by the Semiconductor Industry Association and Semiconductor Research Corporation: Rebooting the IT Revolution. The report details research needed to spur major advances in the science and technology of information infrastructure and to unleash broad opportunities for innovation.
The President has signed an Executive Order making the Presidential Innovation Fellows Program a integral, permanent part of the Federal government moving forward.
In 2009 the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) and the Breakthrough Institute collaborated to complete the report, Rising Tigers, Sleeping Giant, which benchmarked the clean energy competitiveness of China, Japan, South Korea, and the United States in order to emphasize the importance of innovation as a driver of economic competitiveness.
MakerBot VP Anthony Moschella and littleBits CEO Ayah Bdeir explain how they are bringing innovation to a wider market.
Innovation activity is at an all-time high. Using patents as a proxy for innovation, there were more unique inventions that were published applications or granted patents over the last year than ever before in the history of humankind. Another finding this year is that while patent activity has been on an upward climb, its ascent over the past year was the slowest since the global economic recession in 2009. This could be the result of myriad factors, from changes in legislation to economic, political, social or industry stresses.
The exhibits feature a wide range of artifacts representing American inventions and ingenuity.