New Innovation Bill

Encouraging innovation is one of the most important things we can do, but it isn’t easy to figure out what would work. But I just saw a very good new proposal that  addresses some key issues.Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Scott Brown (R-MA)  have introduced the Innovate America Act. (I’m all for innovation being a bipartisan issue).

Here’s some of the key parts of the proposed legislation.

  • Encourage greater commercialization of Research and Development by expanding the Basic Research Tax Credit to include all industry-funded university research
  • Allow companies to take a flat 30-percent tax credit for donating equipment to high schools and technical and community colleges
  • Fund 100 new Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM)-focused high schools
  • Incentivize colleges and universities to increase graduation rates for STEM students
  • Remove regulatory barriers for top 20 exporting industries
  • Enforce existing international exporting and importing laws

Frankly, Congress should pass this tomorrow. In part, the legislation is designed to build a better bridge between the universities/community colleges/high schools and industry.  That may be one of the most important things we can do. The old industrial labs system has broken down, except in a few rare companies (Corning, anyone?), and the current education-corporate linkage has not turned out to be a good substitute. The Klobuchar-Brown bill would try to help that. And I love the idea of reducing regulations for top exporting industries.

I would make one amendment, though. When we think about top exporting industries, we should focus on value-added in the U.S. rather than gross shipments.  That way we help industries generate more value and jobs in the U.S.

About Michael Mandel 127 Articles

Michael Mandel was BusinessWeek's chief economist from 1989-2009, where he helped direct the magazine's coverage of the domestic and global economies.

Since joining BusinessWeek in 1989, he has received multiple awards for his work, including being honored as one of the 100 top U.S. business journalists of the 20th century for his coverage of the New Economy. In 2006 Mandel was named "Best Economic Journalist" by the World Leadership Forum.

Mandel is the author of several books, including Rational Exuberance, The Coming Internet Depression, and The High Risk Society.

Mandel holds a Ph.D. in economics from Harvard University.

Visit: Innovation and Growth

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.