To continue innovating, the U.S. has to manufacture things

Posted by TGarland on 10/16/2013

Innovation: the process that alters the way we live by each discovery. The automated assembly line changed industrial manufacturing overnight. The internet turned our world upside-down, inside-out.

The federal government and private sector largely funded the research and development for both aforementioned discoveries.

But, there is a difference between innovation of the past and innovation today. The technology that enabled the first Model T to be created found an industrial base in Detroit, Michigan. Here idea became a tangible product. Yet, the technology that created the first iPod found its industrial base outside the U.S.

ReMaking America author Sridhar Kota explains the necessity of manufacturing this technology domestically:

Although the federal government continues to invest in basic research, which in turn continues generating new ideas and scientific breakthroughs just as it did when Bell Labs was there to develop them, it is now other nations that are picking up the results, capitalizing on U.S. discoveries and inventions and creating value for themselves. Losing the corporate research institutions of the past has significantly impaired America’s innovation ecosystem — the ability to transition good science into U.S.-based manufacturing. If the United States proves unable to find the 21st Century equivalent of those legendary hotbeds of creative industry, it may concede forever its lead in innovation and prosperity.

We must nurture this technology at home to maintain America's lead in innovation.

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