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Despite an abundance of world class research institutions like MIT and Stanford, the United States lags far behind many other nations in terms of funding university research. In a recent study by the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, the U.S. finished 24th out of 39 countries in government funding and 27th in terms of business funding.
December is here already, but some policymakers in the U.S. are not ready to end the year with entrepreneurship-enabling legislation on the back burner. Taking an “across-all-industries” approach, the Start-up Jobs and Innovation Act introduced last month in the Senate aims to stimulate investment in research-intensive startups.
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.
Still perceived by many to be the choice of currency for shady black market dealings, Bitcoin is starting to gain legitimacy as a valid form of digital currency. A disruptive innovation that has led to a number of startups and even its own Silicon Valley accelerator, Bitcoin has already succeeded in challenging the long-held notion that governments control the supply of money. And now it has a Foundation making the rounds on Capitol Hill.
Back in the summer months, Switzerland came out on top of INSEAD’s 2013 Global Innovation Index that measures an country’s innovation capacity. It should stand to reason then that Switzerland does well in terms of attracting and developing the human capital necessary to drive that innovation. In its new Global Talent Competitiveness Index, INSEAD again points to Switzerland as the place to be.
I ended Global Entrepreneurship Week 2013 last week in Moscow just in time to see a GEW-themed bus driving around different universities, schools and gatherings while testing young peoples’ entrepreneurial skills and engaging them in the world of founding businesses. Skeptics in the international community might want to take a closer look at what cities can do – even in environments where there are persistent national barriers to new firm formation.
Members of the Senate are still on Thanksgiving recess but the House is back in action. The House Rules Committee will work on a couple pieces of legislation this week before they hit the House floor. The Innovation Act (H.R. 3309) takes aim at patent trolls through a number of reforms including increased transparency and ‘fee shifting’ so the loser pays attorney fees in a patent case. The Small Business Capital Access and Job Preservation Act (H.R. 1105) would effectively exempt private equity firms from registering with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Other topics covered by committee hearings include: the bankruptcy code, small business lending, regulatory burdens on small financial institutions, the impacts of the health care law on small employers and government regulation in a changing energy landscape.
The next couple of weeks will be fairly quiet in Washington, DC, as Congress has adjourned for Thanksgiving holiday recess. The House will reconvene in one week on Monday, December 2, while the Senate doesn’t reconvene until the following Monday, December 9.
As another November fades into our rearview mirror, we are again reminded that the phenomenon of entrepreneurship is not something that belongs to any one particular community or country. Economies that have been historically less supportive of capitalism—like Venezuela or Iran—are seeing the rise of strong entrepreneur-led startup communities. And equally as important, those communities are bolstered by increasing support from policymakers, academics, investors, media and other startup champions.
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