|In 2009, the NFTC launched a major new initiative, the Global Innovation Forum, to create a greater understanding of the importance of intellectual property rules governing the global innovation economy. The creation, trade and employment of innovation requires an open, rules-based system to enable effective solutions to global challenges and improve the lives of workers, families and communities around the world. |
Supporting the American Innovation Ecosystem: Connecting innovative business leaders around the country
American innovators have been and must continue to be the global leaders in creating, inventing and commercializing solutions to complex global challenges. Many of these solutions and much of the potential growth for U.S. exports will be created by American entrepreneurs and small businesses, either through direct sales 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 on trade and innovation policy issues.
Recognizing the need for connecting innovative business leaders around the United States with trade policy experts and practitioners, in 2010 the National Foreign Trade Council's Global Innovation Forum convened a series of roundtable discussions among local businesses, policymakers, and stakeholders as well as select national thought leaders. From North Carolina's Research Triangle Foundation and Duke University to Stanford Business School and PARC in Silicon Valley to Techtown and Automation Alley in the Detroit Metro Area, NFTC leverged 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. Upon completion of the three workshops, the Forum pulled together a set of common findings to guide policymakers as they seek to prioritize limited resources to promote American competitiveness, job creation and innovation to address global challenges.
- In North Carolina, GIF drew in the area's talented entrepreneurs, technology innovators, policymakers, and business leaders for an interactive and engaging conversation on trade and innovation policy.
- In two discussion held over several months in Silicon Valley, 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.)
- In Detroit, education, immigration and export policies and worries of a severe credit crunch dominated a discussion with leaders who included the President of the University of Michigan, the President of the Michigan State AFL-CIO and local business leaders.
For a summary of innovation policy recommendations from GIF's 2010 events, see "A Policy Wish List from America's Innovation Leaders" by NFTC VIce President Jake Colvin and GIF Executive Director John Stubbs, available at The Hill newspaper.