Accession Number:



New Foundations for Growth: The U.S. Innovation System Today and Tomorrow. An Executive Summary

Descriptive Note:

Corporate Author:


Report Date:


Pagination or Media Count:



The transformation of the U.S. economy over the past twenty years has made it clear that innovations based on scientific and technological advances have become a major contributor to our national well-being. The system that supports this process has emerged as one of our most important national assets, as important a source for growth today and in the future as have been in the past the nations natural resource endowment, the talents and dedication of its workforce, and the accumulated stock of its capital goods. Our understanding of innovative activity in the U.S. has also changed and grown more sophisticated. Discussion of innovation has shifted from a focus on products identifying critical technologies, for example to processes, from individual outputs to the mechanisms for producing those outputs. During this transition, the realization has grown that this system constitutes a dense and complex network of interconnected parts. The major actors in this system --the private sector, government agencies and labs, universities, the non-profit research sector-- relate to each other in complex ways neither easy to describe nor trace through the system. This interconnected network constitutes what has come to be called a national innovation system. Given the fundamental importance of this system to public welfare and the continuing importance of government as both a participant and a provider of crucial elements of Support, it is appropriate to understand what kinds of government actions or for that matter, inactions would contribute most to the continued development and health of the system or, conversely, detract from that development and health the least.

Subject Categories:

  • Administration and Management
  • Personnel Management and Labor Relations
  • Medicine and Medical Research

Distribution Statement: