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Mon, Sep 13


Online Event

U.S. Innovation Competitiveness Summit

The virtual summit will be jointly hosted by UK Innovate at the University of Kentucky, Columbia Technology Ventures, the Center for Strategic and International Studies, and AUTM.

Registration is Closed
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U.S. Innovation Competitiveness Summit
U.S. Innovation Competitiveness Summit

Time & Location

Sep 13, 2021, 11:00 AM EDT – Sep 17, 2021, 2:00 PM EDT

Online Event

About the Event

America faces two great economic challenges in the coming years. The first concerns ensuring our country’s leadership role as a world-class innovator second to none. During the heyday of American innovation, this country was an undisputed global leader in science and technology. However, in the past decades, we have seen in- creasing challenges that have hindered our role as a generator of cutting-edge science and the translation of those innovations into products and services that save and improve human lives, as well as generate taxes, jobs, and exports. Meanwhile, other nations have upped their game tremendously and may be poised to overtake the United States as the world’s great innovators in the years ahead. We need to actively engage in improving our country’s competitiveness by boosting regional innovation hubs, strengthening the foundations of intellectual property (IP) rights, and maximizing efficiency in translating innovations to market.

There is a second, even more significant challenge. America is bifurcating into two economies. High-technology centers have become dynamic and creative, while more conventional economic activity in rural and rust-belt communities is falling further behind. America cannot succeed if we are to become a divided nation with prosperous professionals living in urban and high-tech hubs and the rest of the country lagging in “old industry” activities. We know there is innovation capacity in the heartland of America, and it requires intentional investment to equip regional hubs in Mid-America to catalyze this resource.

In addition, our legislative entities and our courts have steadily undermined the crucial role of protecting IP as an engine of innovation. Historically, America harnessed private ambitions to the public good by constructing a legal and regulatory architecture that protected IP. This framework has become disjointed in recent years, diluting incentives to invest in the necessary de-risking and product development processes necessary to move early-stage discoveries to market for public benefit.

The only solution to these problems is to dramatically boost invention, entrepreneurship, and IP education across the country. We must expand the innovation ecosystem to communities currently outside or on the fringes of the creation economy. Congress is currently considering important new legislation to boost federal support for innovation. There are hundreds of bills, many offered on a bipartisan basis. Most of the bills promote new federally funded programs and initiatives. Most of this is good, but it does not necessarily address the sweeping need to broaden the participation of regions and underrepresented peoples in the innovation ecosystem. Nor does the legislation meaningfully address the necessary components of reliable IP protection, without which many of these efforts would have less than the desired impact.

The purpose of the U.S. Innovation Competitiveness Summit will be to develop action-able strategies to address these challenges. We will identify opportunities to enhance the regional innovation ecosystems outside of America’s existing innovation hubs. We will focus on the crucial role of protecting IP as an engine of innovation. And we will share best practices for translating these innovations out of the academic research labs and into the market, for the betterment of society.

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