The Role of Science and Engineering in Achieving a

Report
Societies and the Imperative of
Innovation
Dr. E. William Colglazier
Science and Technology Adviser to the U.S. Secretary of State
Chief Scientists and Opinion Leaders Meeting
International Economic Forum of the Americas
Conference de Montreal, June 10, 2014
Most Popular Topic in All My
Diplomatic Engagements
• How Science and Technology Can Stimulate
Innovation and Economic Development
• Every Country has Ambitious Plans to
Compete on a World-Class Level
• Willing to Modify Policies and Investments to
Build a Knowledge-Based Society and
Innovative Nation
• Fundamental Pillars are Well-Known, but
Challenging to Implement and Sustain
National Academy of Sciences and
National Intelligence Council Reports
• Rising Above the Gathering Storm: Energizing
and Employing America for a Brighter
Economic Future (NAS,2007)
• Rising to the Challenge: U.S. Innovation Policy
for the Global Economy (NAS,2012)
• S&T Strategies of Six Countries (NAS,2010)
• SBIR Reviews (NAS,2004-9)
• Global Trends 2030 (NIC,2012)
“Global Trends 2030” (2012)
• Unclassified Study Produced Every Four Years by U.S.
Intelligence Agencies with Input from Many Countries
• Examines Megatrends, Game Changers, and Potential
Worlds out to 2030
• Biggest Megatrend: Individual Empowerment
Accelerated by IT Revolution and Other Tectonic Shifts
• Growth of Global Middle Class with Drop in Poverty
and Rapid Urbanization
• Widespread Exploitation of New Enabling Technologies
that are Transformational and Disruptive
Innovation Metrics and Rankings
• World Economic Forum (WEF) Global
Competitiveness Index
• World Intellectual Property Organization
(WIPO) Global Innovation Index
• World Bank Knowledge Assessment
Methodology Innovation Index
• World Bank “Doing Business” Report
Typical Challenges Countries Face
• Inadequate Investment in Education, Infrastructure,
and R&D
• Only “Top-Down” Strategy
• Universities and Private Sector Not Connected
• Viewing Fundamental Research as a Luxury
• Cultural Impediments (bureaucracy, corruption,
deference to authority, etc.)
• Missing Elements of Innovative Ecosystem (IPR,
immigration policy, bankruptcy policy, FDI, etc.)
• Weak Institutions with Little Autonomy
• Lack of Incentives for Entrepreneurs
President Obama’s Advice
“The first step in winning the future is
encouraging .. innovation. None of us can
predict with certainty what the next big industry
will be or where the new jobs will come from.
Thirty years ago, we couldn’t know that
something called the Internet would lead to an
economic revolution. What we can do … is
spark the creativity and imagination of our
people.”

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