The report, "An Innovation Challenge for the United States," describes how the nation led innovation for the majority of the last century due to four main factors: a lack of post-war devastation, an influx of high-skilled immigrants, an increase in educational opportunities and overall Cold War build-up and the resulting scientific competition.
The United States became the undisputed global leader in innovation following World War II. From transistors to personal computers, from the development of the Internet to the evolution of the smart phone, America was at the frontier of the world’s technological transformation. Multiple factors drove this advancement in the post-war era: consumer demand, Cold War competition, the relentless pursuit of advancement, and strong federal leadership. High risk tolerance, competition, and the insatiable appetite to create and improve technology forged an innovation culture that has benefited the United States and the world. That culture—and all the economic, security, and societal benefits that it brings—is now at risk.