National Advisory Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Yesterday, Commerce Secretary Locke announced the membership of his new National Advisory Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship. This Council is part of the Secretary’s Office of Entrepreneurship and Innovation (see earlier posting).
I welcome the announcement — but am concerned that the focus of the Council and the Office is too narrow. For example, the Council is heavy on academic and high-technology leaders. I will note that the co-founder of ZipCar (a business model innovation rather than a technology innovation) is among the members.
Entrepreneurship (i.e. start-ups) and technology-based innovation are part of an overall economic competitiveness strategy. But they are only parts. We need to look at that broader strategy. It should include a look at how to make existing SMEs (small and medium size enterprises) more competitive, how to ensure that large multinational corporations contribute to economic activity in the US (including encouraging direct foreign investment in the US) and how to foster more non-technological innovation to create new goods and services and increase productivity.
As I’ve noted before, one of the ways to craft such a broader strategy is to create a Commission on the Future of the US Economy. The competitiveness agenda has changed but the need to craft a holistic solution remains.

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