Innovation competition between the U.S. and China heats up
Future. The U.S. government is working on majorly increasing its investment into research and development for technological innovations… and it’s actually supported by both parties. Analysts are looking at the coming era of experimentation as our generation’s “Sputnik moment” (the Sputnik era led to such breakthroughs as the moon landing and mapping the genome). Could our desire to beat China for power usher in a technological revolution?
Dust off R&D
Even though there’s a lot that President Biden, the Democratic Party, and the Republican Party all disagree on, one thing that is bringing everyone together is stepping up funding on research and development for emerging technologies and industry innovations.
- Bipartisan bills moving through Congress, including the Endless Frontier Act, could inject an additional $190 billion into “new and existing programs.”
- Areas of focus include artificial intelligence, space, electric vehicles, semiconductor manufacturing, and cybersecurity.
- This comes at a time when public support for innovation funding is at all-time high and new economic thought is seeing the upside of government support in funding innovation.
Much of this is spurred on by the one thing that every politician seems to agree on: China’s technological dominance and potential to overtake the U.S. economy is becoming an existential threat.
Many of the proposals moving through Congress are actually unofficially being put under the umbrella of the “China bill.” Walter Copan, former director of the National Institute of Standards and Technology, said that “we are at a Sputnik moment now. China has demonstrated the benefits of having an innovation policy, an industrialization policy and a science and technology policy.”
And during those Sputnik years, America spent a lot more on innovation. In 1964, the U.S. spent 2.2% of its GDP on R&D. Last year, the U.S. only spent 0.7% — a total of $150.9 billion.