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As part of the 2004-2005 debate over the sustainability of US S&E leadership, some individuals and groups have called for a presidential-level challenge to mobilize resources and national imagination in an effort that also would grow the S&E enterprise. Somewhat related is the call for the President to identify innovation as having a major national priority. Specific recommendations include the following:

  • Launch an explicit national innovation strategy and agenda led by the President. “Innovation is the critical pathway to building prosperity and competitive advantage for advanced economies. Yet no single institution in government or the private sector has the horizontal responsibility for strengthening the innovation ecosystem at the national level—it is and always will be a shared responsibility. The United States should establish an explicit national innovation strategy and agenda, including an aggressive public policy strategy that energizes the environment for national innovation.”54

  • “Establish a focal point within the Executive Office of the President to frame, assess and coordinate strategically the future direction of the nation’s innovation policies. This could be either a Cabinet-level interagency group, or a new, distinct mission assigned to the National Economic Council.”55

  • “Establish an explicit innovation agenda. Direct the President’s economic advisors to analyze the impact of current economic policies on US innovation capabilities and identify opportunities for immediate improvement.”56

  • “Direct the Cabinet officers to undertake a policy, program and budget review and propose initiatives designed to foster innovation within and across departments. This is an opportunity to break down ‘stovepipes’ and foster closer collaboration among the agencies to meet clear national needs.”57

  • “The United States should build an integrated healthcare capability by the end of the decade.”58

  • Apply information technology, research, and systems-engineering tools to US healthcare delivery.59

  • Launch a US-China crash program to develop alternative energies.60


Ibid., p. 66.








Ibid., p. 74.


National Academy of Engineering and Institute of Medicine. Building a Better Delivery System: A New Engineering/Health Care Partnership. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press, 2005.


Friedman, 2005, p. 413.

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