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In 2009, the NFTC launched a major new initiative, the Global Innovation Forum, to create a greater understanding of the importance of the policy foundations that underpin the ability of startups, researchers, universities and companies of all sizes to innovate globally.

Since 2009, NFTC has utilized the Global Innovation Forum to engage in a series of dialogues with a diverse set of stakeholders. These conversations explore the role of public policies in enabling effective solutions to global challenges and improving the lives of workers, families and communities around the world.

Supporting the American Innovation Ecosystem: Connecting innovative business leaders around the country

Many of the solutions to complex global challenges and much of the potential growth for companies and countries will be created by entrepreneurs and small businesses, either through direct participation in the global marketplace or as partners with multinational companies managing global supply chains.

There are, however, few opportunities for entrepreneurs and innovators to connect with policymakers in Washington, DC or in capitals around the world on trade and innovation policy issues.

Recognizing the need for connecting innovative business leaders around the United States with trade policy experts and practitioners, the NFTC’s Global Innovation Forum convened a series of roundtable discussions among local businesses, policymakers, and stakeholders as well as select national thought leaders.

NFTC has leveraged relationships with a series of respected innovation centers to connect policymakers with local business leaders and entrepreneurs. These sessions drove conversations towards specific policy recommendations for Washington. GIF has pulled together sets of common findings to inform policymakers and forum participants on the topics discussed.

Examples of Forums include:
  • In 2013, NFTC held a series of Global Innovation Forums in partnership with major universities and the Partnership for a New American Economy to discuss the impact on U.S. competitiveness of current visa and immigration policies in Northern California (UC Davis), Colorado (CU-Boulder), Texas (University of Texas at Austin) and North Carolina (Duke University).
  • In 2011-2012, NFTC drew in talented entrepreneurs, technology innovators, policymakers, and business leaders for a series of discussion about “how to succeed in the global economy:” In Chicago, featuring Commerce Under Secretary Sánchez and in partnership with Chicago Council on Global Affairs; In Cincinnati, with Techsolve; and In Pittsburgh, featuring U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk.
  • In 2010, The Global Innovation Forum held discussions on “going global to support innovation” in Research Triangle Park HQ in North Carolina, at GE’s advanced manufacturing research facility outside of Detroit, and two discussion held over several months in Silicon Valley, where participants focused on the President's goal of doubling U.S. exports over the next five years and new challenges to American innovation, including efforts by governments around the world to restrict the free flow of information. (Watch a discussion the Forum hosted at Google's headquarters in Mountain View, California with U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk, Google, Facebook, Gilead, Microsoft, OnLive and BayBIO here.)

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