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The Council releases Launch: A Summary of the Kick-off Meeting of the National Commission on Innovation and Competitiveness Frontiers

December 18, 2019

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, at the 2019 National Competitiveness Forum, the Council Board formally releases Launch, a 2020 roadmap for the National Commission on Innovation and Competitiveness Frontiers, a multi-year flagship initiative to define a new path for productivity, prosperity and innovation for all.

The National Commission - chaired by Dr. Mehmood Khan (CEO, Life Biosciences), Mr. Brian Moynihan (Chairman and CEO, Bank of America), Dr. Michael Crow (President, Arizona State University) and Mr. Lonnie Stephenson (International President, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers) - convened more than 35 CEOs, university presidents, labor leaders and national laboratory directors – National Commissioners – in this new movement to develop the next generation of critical, actionable and measurable policy recommendations and private sector actions to bolster America's investments in talent, technology, innovation and infrastructure.

Commissioners engaged in robust dialogue about the ways in which the Commission – through its organized Working Groups and committees – would tackle emergent challenges and threats, and seize strategic opportunities at the heart of long-term competitiveness.

The Commissioners - now numbering nearly 60 - endorsed the formation of three Working Groups to develop initial content, and policy research:

1. Developing and Deploying at Scale Disruptive Technologies—This group will map promising, strategic technology pathways to enhance productivity and economic growth for the United States.

2. Exploring the Future of Sustainable Production and Consumption, and Work— This group will examine the ever-evolving disruption underway in the production and consumption of goods, as well as the rapid evolutions unfolding in the American workforce.

3. Optimizing the Environment for the National Innovation Ecosystem—This group will explore ways to optimize the entire system in which the nation's innovators and enterprises operate – from capital costs, intellectual property, standards and regulations, etc. – and examine the critical roles the private sector, and local, state and federal governments must play.

Commissioners emphasized the need specifically to create action-oriented measurable outcomes – not only policy recommendations – that the Council's membership and affiliated constituencies could put into practice and track results. An Outreach & Engagement Committee – comprised of Commissioner-nominated marketing, government relations, and external communications professionals – will support the National Commissioners and Council staff in efforts to propagate major findings.

Launch explores the major themes of the day to include:

--Restructuring the American Innovation System

A dominant theme in the launch of the Commission was the repeatedly articulated need to reshape the nation’s innovation system. In an increasingly globalized economy, nearly every city, region and nation is vetting the same technologies, the same “ecosystems” to drive innovation-based prosperity.

--Providing Value to All Stakeholders in the U.S. Economy
Commissioners stated the importance of ensuring the outcomes of the policy recommendations are equitable and provide value for all stakeholders who both drive innovation and who feel the impacts of innovation.

--Focusing on Outcomes and a Market-Driven Approach

A critical point that dominated the conversation was the need for the Commission to remain focused on the outcomes of their work—identifying, measuring and reporting on metrics of success for intended outcomes.

--Better Communicating the Power and Benefits of Innovation for All

How the Commission communicates its purpose and work—and the outcomes it attempts to achieve—will be critically important to gaining buy-in from all sectors of U.S. society.

-- Preparing American Workers for the Future of Innovation-Based Work

The Commission must fundamentally outline and develop pathways to innovation-based prosperity for every American. This will mean helping everyone to understand the future of work and to deal with high levels of uncertainty, turbulence, transition and transformation.

Throughout 2019, Council staff will begin to populate the Working Groups and committees, and continue building a digital collaboration platform to engage Commission stakeholders. On January 16, 2020, Arizona State University will host the Working Group Launch Conference to kick off the ongoing dialogues, research, and reporting of the Groups, which will lead to sets of interim and final policy recommendations by the Commission.

For additional information or questions about the National Commission, please contact Chad Evans, Executive Vice President, Council on Competitiveness ([email protected]; 1-202-969-3380). To track the National Competitiveness Forum online use #2019NCF and follow @CompeteNow.


About the Council on Competitiveness

For more than three decades, the Council on Competitiveness (Council) has championed a competitiveness agenda for the United States to attract investment and talent and spur the commercialization of new ideas. While the players may have changed since its founding in 1986, the mission remains as vital as ever—to enhance U.S. productivity and raise the standard of living for all Americans.

The members of the Council—CEOs, university presidents, labor leaders and national lab directors—represent a powerful, nonpartisan voice that sets aside politics and seeks results. By providing real-world perspective to policymakers, the Council’s private sector network makes an impact on decision-making across a broad spectrum of issues—from the cutting- edge of science and technology, to the democratization of innovation, to the shift from energy weakness to strength that supports the growing renaissance in U.S. manufacturing. The Council firmly believes that with the right policies, the strengths and potential of the U.S. economy far outweigh the current challenges the nation faces on the path to higher growth and greater opportunity for all Americans.

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