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Each day, Innovation Daily checks the pulse of global innovation--courtesy of Innovation America. Here, we take a look at a handful of relevant stories it compiled last week.
With the August recess looming just ahead, it looks to be another busy week on Capitol Hill. The immigration debate looks to be moving one piece at a time as the House Judiciary Committee looks for a way to first resolve the status of illegal immigrants brought to the U.S. as children. Meanwhile, members of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee look for a way to improve technology transfer and advance innovation into the marketplace. Other topics covered include: regulatory barriers; SBIC; copyright law; NIST and the private sector on cybersecurity; and the state of wireline communications.
After two consecutive months of increases (April and May), small business owner confidence dropped in June according to the National Federation of Independent Businesses. The latest Small Business Optimism Index shows a continued see-saw trend that remains mired between the depths of the recession in 2009 and the heights of the economic expansion of 2004-2005.
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke makes a couple of appearances on Capitol Hill this week as he outlines monetary policy and the state of the U.S. economy. Meanwhile, the House Small Business Committee examines how the IRS selects, classifies and audits the tax returns of small businesses. Other hearings cover topics such as: clean energy financing, pooled retirement plans for small businesses, regulatory burdens and more.
While debate continues whether the world is in economic recovery or facing a long-continuing crisis, Switzerland continues to go about its business. The small European nation held on to the top spot of the 2013 edition of the Global Innovation Index, co-published by Cornell University, INSEAD, and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO, a specialized agency of the United Nations).
The European Commission is getting active in the world of accelerators and startups—announcing a new network of 20 programs including recognized leaders like Nesta, Seedcamp, TechStars London, Startup Weekend, Bethnel Green Ventures and Seed-DB. The Accelerator Assembly, backed by the EC as part of its Startup Europe initiative, is focused on improving the environment for web-based entrepreneurship through a collection of events, forums, workshops and research.
Lawmakers return to Washington this week and it’s going to be a busy one on the House side. Most eyes will be on actions related to the immigration reform debate where Republican leadership in the House have said that the comprehensive bill passed by the Senate is a nonstarter. And although there aren’t any committee hearings this week on the issue, there is a full slate of hearings on other topics, including: the impact of competitiveness on entrepreneurs, state strategies for small business growth, regulatory reform, experiential education, capital formation, the delay of the employer mandate of the Affordable Care Act and more.
A collection of 100 CEOs from prominent companies have come together to voice their concern about sluggish progress in the U.S. in the STEM education fields – science, technology, engineering and mathematics – and where that leaves the country in terms of national competitiveness. The compilation includes essays and insight from tech leaders like Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook and Eric Schmidt of Google as well as leaders from a vast array of corporate giants like Cisco, Coca-Cola, Eli Lilly and Lockheed Martin.
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