Fundamental technological innovation — from genomics to the Internet — has always depended on four factors: federal funding, great educational institutions, risk-taking entrepreneurs and venture capital. The first and second are squarely the province of government policy. So how is it that Americans spend more money each year on potato chips than on new energy research? The US needs to increase R&D funding at our great research institutions for what matters most, and it needs to create an educated and entrepreneurial workforce. If we are “too timid to fail” — if our policies don’t invest in grand challenges — we will fail to seize the future.
The op-ed, written by Ted Schlein and AEIC principal John Doerr, can be read on the CNN Money website.