America’s entrepreneurial drive and passion for innovation have helped make the U.S. economy the envy of the world. In this issue, we highlight some of the doers, dreamers, and risk takers who are blazing new trails and tackling tough challenges. Ideas may strike like lightning, but innovation doesn’t just happen. It needs the right conditions, rewards, and people. Innovation rests on five pillars.
Talent. To remain the most innovative nation on earth, we must develop talent at home and attract the best and brightest from abroad. We can do that by improving our K–12 education system, drawing more students into STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) fields, and reforming our immigration system.
Capital. Inventors and entrepreneurs need access to healthy and vibrant capital markets to help breathe life into their ideas. It’s critical that we keep our markets open and efficient and provide investors with predictable rules of the road so that they can take appropriate risks. Measures that strangle capital formation and the flow of financing must be revised or repealed.
Good business environment. We must foster a business climate that encourages innovation. This requires smarter tax and regulatory systems that preserve economic freedom and flexibility while removing unnecessary burdens and costs.
IP protections. Inventors and entrepreneurs won’t produce groundbreaking products and services if the fruits of their labor aren’t protected under the law. We need to crack down on intellectual property theft in both the physical and digital markets, fully fund enforcement, and insist on strong protections in all trade agreements.
Reasonable risk taking. Innovators must be allowed to take reasonable risks and be rewarded for their achievements. If we punish or demonize success, America will lose talent, capital, ideas, and jobs to our economic competitors. Some of history’s greatest inventions and technologies have been created by Americans working in a free enterprise system. With the right policies, we’ll continue to lead the world in innovation.
Please find more U.S. Chamber Quarterly Fall 2015 articles here.