Today, Newsweek and Intel released the findings from a survey on innovation and the economy. The current economic environment makes for a unique opportunity to find out what’s really important to people. The survey indicates that despite one of the deepest recessions in history, Americans have undiminished faith in technology and innovation as the primary engines of economic growth. The survey also tells us that 3 out of 4 Americans say that technological innovation is “more important than ever.” Intel believes that innovation requires complementary contributions by business and government. And we advocate for policies to drive education, U.S. competitiveness and economic growth. According to the survey, nearly half of Americans want government to offer incentives to spur innovation and a third think a national innovation initiative would be very effective. We are encouraged by the energy and ideas around innovation coming out of the administration. Not too long ago, the President outlined his innovation agenda — a “strategy to foster new jobs, new businesses and new industries by laying the groundwork and the ground rules to best tap our innovative potential.” These ground rules are so important not only to us in Washington, but to businesses throughout the U.S. Decisions made now by congress and the administration will have a long-term impact on how companies are able to innovate in the U.S. Ground rules could be in the form of patent reform, market based H1B visa allocation, a permanent R&D tax credit. Right now, health care is clearly top of mind. Provisions should be included in legislation to spur innovation in health care through information technology. Once the ground rules are established, it’s up to us — U.S. business — to make strategic investments to further the process of innovation. This complementary role of government and business is a guiding factor in an upcoming conference in Washington, DC to explore what we can do to cultivate the innovation that will drive economic recovery and ensure long-term, sustainable growth. Finally, the survey tells us most Americans say that the economic downturn has hurt the U.S.’s ability to innovate and they have significant doubts about our ability to maintain leadership. It’s our commitment at Intel to continue strategic R&D investment and our mission foster a culture of innovation.
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