lost 376,500 jobs and suffered some 89,000 housing foreclosures. A drive through modern Cleveland reveals vast stretches of abandoned industrial facilities. Speaking at the conference, Dr. Lavea Brachman of the Greater Ohio Policy Center called the economic decline of northeast Ohio “unparalleled.”
aWikipedia, “History of Ohio,” Accessed on November 9, 2012.
bJoel Garreau, The Nine Nations of North America, Boston: Houghton-Mifflin, 1981.
making, particularly in this region but throughout the state, in bringing together the public and private sectors to cooperate and create opportunities for the Ohio economy.” The fourth theme, he said, was to explore ways in which the sectors of society can work together in partnership, including the federal government, state government, Ohio foundations, the private sector, investors, and major universities.
A. THE GLOBAL INNOVATION CHALLENGE
In his conference remarks, Dr. Luis Proenza of the University of Akron observed that “the primacy that America has long enjoyed around the world is increasingly being challenged by the very same forces of technological innovation that America has itself unleashed.”
He turned to some significant shifts in global investment in research and development, which today totals more than $1 trillion. Global R&D expenditure is dominated by ten countries that together account for almost 80 percent of that the world total. The U.S. alone invests nearly $400 billion annually in R&D. Its present global share of 33 percent, however, has declined from 44 percent five years ago. He said that this relative decline is caused largely by the growth in China’s R&D investment at an average of 19 percent during the past decade, moving that nation beyond Japan for second place in R&D investments in 2011.
In his conference remarks, Charles Wessner of the National Academies said that countries around the world are working hard on their own innovation strategies. “These nations recognize that innovation policy is not a hobby,” he said. “It is not something you do when you have done everything else on your day-to-day policy agenda. It is the main game, the job of state and federal governments at macro and micro levels. We need to support funding for research, and we need to convert that research into competitive products for the market.”
Major U.S. trading partners, Dr. Wessner said, have placed innovation high on their list of national priorities. Leading countries and regions are providing a high-level focus on growth and strength, sustained support for universities, consistent funding for research, imaginative support for small businesses, and support for government-industry partnerships that bring new