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Daily Archives: July 1, 2014

Understanding the U.S. National Innovation System

Robert D. Atkinson, President – Information Technology and Innovation Foundation

“The conventional view of innovation is that it is something that just takes place idiosyncratically in “Silicon Valley garages” and R&D laboratories. But in fact, innovation in any nation is best understood as being embedded in a national innovation system (NIS). Just as innovation is more than science and technology, an innovation system is more than those elements directly related to the promotion of science and technology. Rather, it also includes all economic, political and other social institutions affecting innovation (e.g., a nation’s financial system; organization of private firms; the pre-university educational system; labor markets; culture, regulatory policies and institutions, etc.). Indeed, as Christopher Freeman defined it, a national innovation system is “the network of institutions in the public and private sectors whose activities and interactions initiate, import, modify and diffuse new technologies.” This report identifies the broad elements that make up a national innovation system, including a description of the innovation success triangle, which measures the business environment, regulatory environment, and innovation environment of a nation, and is used to predict the success of an innovation system in promoting technological development and economic growth. It then uses this framework to analyze the U.S. national innovation system and assess the strengths and weaknesses of individual components  and whether those components  are improving, stable or deteriorating relative to our competitors. Unfortunately, in many areas the U.S. national innovation system falls behind our global competitors, hampering our ability to foster the innovation that is imperative for success in the 21st century economy. As nations compete to win the global innovation race, the effectiveness of their national innovation systems will be a key factor in deciding the winners and the losers. Thus, the challenge for the United States going forward is whether it can make the needed changes to its innovation system to keep up with the international innovation leaders and remain a key player in the innovation economy. The future health of our nation will depend on the answer.”

The Future of Large Old Trees in Urban Landscapes

Le Roux DS, Ikin K, Lindenmayer DB, Manning AD, Gibbons P (2014) The Future of Large Old Trees in Urban Landscapes. PLoS ONE 9(6): e99403. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0099403 “Large old trees are disproportionate providers of structural elements (e.g. hollows, coarse woody debris), which are crucial habitat resources for many species. The decline of large old trees inContinue Reading

Court gave NSA broad leeway in surveillance, documents show – WaPo

Washington Post, Ellen Nakashima and Barton Gellman: “Virtually no foreign government is off-limits for the National Security Agency, which has been authorized to intercept information “concerning” all but four countries, according to top-secret documents. The United States has long had broad no-spying arrangements with those four countries — Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand — in a groupContinue Reading

Pew – 7 surprises about libraries in our surveys

Lee Raine – “The Pew Research Center’s studies about libraries and where they fit in the lives of their communities and patrons have uncovered some surprising facts about what Americans think of libraries and the way they use them. As librarians around the world are gathered in Las Vegas for the American Library Association’s annual conference, hereContinue Reading

FTC Releases 2014 Data Security Update, But Enforcement Questions Remain – EPIC

EPIC – “The Federal Trade Commission has released the 2014 Privacy and Data Security Update. The report is “an overview of the FTC’s enforcement, policy initiatives, and consumer outreach and business guidance in the areas of privacy and data security.” In the report, the FTC explains that “If a company violates an FTC order, the FTCContinue Reading

Good Country website and the Good Country Index – a new way of looking at the world

Simon Anholt: “The idea of the Good Country Index is pretty simple: to measure what each country on earth contributes to the common good of humanity, and what it takes away. Using a wide range of data from the U.N. and other international organisations, we’ve given each country a balance-sheet to show at a glance whetherContinue Reading

65+ in the United States: 2010

“A new report released today by the U.S. Census Bureau provides the latest, comprehensive look at the nation’s population aged 65 and older, comprising 40.3 million in 2010. The 65+ in the United States: 2010 report contains many findings about the 65-and-older population on topics such as socio-economic characteristics, size and growth, geographic distribution, and longevity and health.Continue Reading

U.S. Breweries are Booming According to Census Bureau

Shipments Increased 33.6 Percent to $28 Billion: “The number of U.S. breweries more than doubled — from 398 to 869 — between 2007 and 2012, according to U.S. Census Bureau data released today from the 2012 Economic Census Industry Series. The breweries industry reported $28.3 billion in shipments in 2012, an increase of nearly 33.6Continue Reading

NIH-commissioned Census Bureau report highlights effect of aging boomers

“While rates of smoking and excessive drinking have declined among older Americans, prevalence of chronic disease has risen, and many older Americans are unprepared to afford the costs of long-term care in a nursing home, according to a report from the U.S. Census Bureau commissioned by the National Institutes of Health. The report highlights those trendsContinue Reading

Esri Mapping Platform Secured for Federal Agency’s Use

“The Esri ArcGIS Online platform is now authorized and accredited by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) as a secure platform for delivering cloud-based geospatial services. Following a rigorous assessment, the agency has granted ArcGIS Online a Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA) low Authority to Operate (ATO). Esri, the GIS industry leader, now provides secureContinue Reading