The upshot? The formation of a comprehensive innovation lifecycle business model—from discovery to product development to rapid distribution to end-user satisfaction—that delivers success through wealth creation, sustainability, and consumer trust is sorely lacking. To be sure, technology transfer offices at some universities, astute venture capitalists, and corporate research directors on the prowl bring all these elements together to create incredibly competitive and growing companies (think Google Inc). Yet a comprehensive national innovation framework to make this happen more consistently still eludes us. That’s why we believe a shared National Innovation Framework—a prioritized operating model that structures a collective national response for the strategic acceleration of the country’s entrepreneurial innovation economy—is now sorely needed.
Our National Innovation Framework would provide the best networked approach, leverage our innovation resources, and provide assistance to the growth of high-tech companies that are continuously changing the shape of our world. In turn, the growth of these very companies fuels our economic and job growth and serves as a considerable national competitive advantage to retain the highest skilled national talent and compete with the rest of the world on science and technology.
At the center of the framework sits a National Private-Public Partnership Innovation Program, which is a nonprofit organization composed of leading public- and private-sector innovation players. The organization would draw on the expertise of its partners to administer a $2 billion National Innovation Seed Fund and advise a collaborate effort with a federal National Innovation Advisor in the White House on how to tailor national innovation strategy to best meet the needs of newly emerging technologies and services (see Figure 6).
As our chart illustrates, key private and non-profit technology organizations, such as SSTI, National Association of Seed and Venture Funds, American Society of Mechanical Engineers, the Association of University Technology Managers, the Community Development Venture Capital Alliance and the Angel Capital Association, would work with federal agencies and their technology program managers. These efforts would be reported to a new National Innovation Advisor and the investment managers of an experienced public-private innovation seed-stage fund—through the National Public-Private Partnership Innovation Program, or NPPPIP. In this way, the best innovation strategy, advice and policy execution would be coordinated through a single organization with a direct link to the president and key private-sector and non-profit leaders. We now will present the individual components of our National Innovation Framework to demonstrate how these three programs would work in tandem.