September 22, 2015

Employing Innovation Across America – Being Competitive in the Global Marketplace

This is the third in a series of innovation pieces leading up to the 3rd Annual Global IP Summit on November 5 & 6, 2015. Check out the first blog, Why Innovation Policy is Critical Now; the second installment, A Legacy of Inventors, Entrepreneurs, and Innovatorsand the final post, Innovation Policy: the Elephant in the Room. At the Summit, GIPC will release a new study looking at the state impact of IP, updating the 2013 IP Jobs Map. Join us. 

When economies are struggling, competition for investment becomes even more fierce. Public officials are constantly looking for ways to improve the policy structure of their country, state, or city and  incentivize investment from global corporations—opening a new plant or research facility, for example—in their backyard.

There is no question that for a developing economy, foreign direct investment and the importation of new cures and technologies from other countries can trigger economic growth. However, domestic inspiration and entrepreneurship create a more deeply rooted innovative culture that better fosters longer term, stabilized growth.  Next generation talent is found in every culture and country, but the key is developing an ecosystem where this ingenuity can be harnessed.

The solution is at once both easy and complex; as nothing attracts outside investment more than a strong business climate. One of the clearest examples is Singapore which modernized its IP environment and has grown to be one of the most innovative economies in Asia.  In neighboring Malaysia, that country is taking positive steps to enhance its business climate by improving intellectual property protections to attract global investors.

And a more welcoming environment for outside investors leads to a more dynamic and innovative domestic economy.

The potential of more innovative companies leads to a greater potential in overall growth of a knowledge-based economy, which  provide higher paying jobs and rise all boats. A strong intellectual property environment is key to this virtuous circle. It allows these great thinkers, entertainers, and innovators to build their business in their home countries without fear of losing their intellectual property rights to competitors and counterfeit operations.

GE’s Innovation Barometer, perfectly cited what businesses need to foster collaboration: “There is no one-size-fits-all strategy for making innovation work. But across the globe, businesses expect governments to provide a framework that supports top drivers of innovation: reduce the red tape blocking access to financial support; implement robust intellectual property protections; and help foster the next generation of talent.”  It is clear; business executives feel increased cooperation will help lead to greater innovation.

To see the full benefit of this potential economic growth, these economies must have an environment that allows for free enterprise to grow, too. Fantastic electronic devices, applications on the “Internet of Things,” and life-saving new medical cures require production, marketing, sales and distribution channels, either electronic or physical. These critical components, which ultimately provide the end consumer access to products, come together in the form of business enterprises, and that requires the right environment for them to succeed.

The innovative and entrepreneurial cultures of each country can and should grow in a manner most effective for their longer term success.  Certain overarching principles remain critical.  Investment in innovation will lead to new ideas, and an investment and regulatory environment which respects the intellectual property of these innovators will create a foundation for longer term economic growth.


Brian Noyes is executive director of strategy and communications at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Global Intellectual Property Center (GIPC).

Subscribe for updates from GIPC