On January 8, President Barack Obama announced the allocation of $2.3 billion in tax credits for clean energy projects. The aim of the credits, which are part of the Recovery Act, is twofold: to create jobs by fostering a robust clean-energy manufacturing sector and to meet Obama's stated goal of doubling the nation's use of renewable energy in the next three years. But, according to a report recently released by the Information Technology & Innovation Foundation and the Breakthrough Institute, Rising Tigers, Sleeping Giant, that foundation is shaky at best. However, it is not too late to shift the momentum. The US has fallen behind, the report argues, due to a focus on stimulating domestic demand without providing adequate support for the manufacturing side and a reliance on small, uncoordinated market incentives.
In December 2009, a governing board seeking input on the deﬁnition of ﬁnancial regulations and auditing consisting of 18 eminent ﬁgures from innovation, which programs are requirements. And, as another ﬁrst, the science, academic, and business working and which are not, the she will be supported by a Chief sectors selected from 20 proposals the various funding programs, and the Scientiﬁc Advisor, to come from the ﬁrst three KICs, in the areas of role of small- and medium-size European scientist community. climate change, sustainable energy, enterprise (SMEs) in generating Geoghegan-Quinn has referred to the and information and communication innovation. new innovation position as an technology (ICT). Leaders of the three “overarching” role. She expects to be a groups say their focus will be on These are promising developments, but key contributor to the new Innovation solving the major issues facing buzzwords are big in Brussels. Only Act, an important piece of legislation modern European society, including time will tell whether innovation is just that will be drafted this year to replace those hotly debated at the climate another one of them or whether it the expiring Lisbon Agenda. She plans conference in Copenhagen. turns into real action with real results. to encourage the development of an John Blau, EIT will cover 25 percent of the KICs’ EU-wide patent system, new open Contributing Editor budgets and help coordinate their innovation policies, and researchers’ Dusseldorf, Germany launch. The institute has just mobility; she also intends to support email@example.com approved a ﬁrst round of funds, EIT in whatever way she can. enabling the groups to hire EIT, a pet project of Commission administration staff, including Chief President Barros, is the centerpiece of Executive Ofﬁcers, and cover other U.S. Losing Advantage the European Commission’s efforts to start-up costs. The KICs are expected develop greater research collaboration to spend between €50 million ($37 in Clean Technology across the region. Although the million) and €100 million ($74 On January 8, President Barack president’s original vision—to model million) a year over the next four Obama announced the allocation of the new innovation institute on the years and, depending on their $2.3 billion in tax credits for clean Massachusetts Institute of Technology research, can apply for funding for up energy projects. The aim of the (MIT)—has been watered down to 15 years in total. credits, which are part of the somewhat, the institute is expected to Recovery Act, is twofold: to create The KICs are expected to become be fully up and running by April. It jobs by fostering a robust clean-energy fully operational shortly after signing aims to combine all three elements of manufacturing sector and to meet a seven-year framework partnership the so-called “knowledge triangle”— Obama’s stated goal of doubling the agreement in June and to be self- innovation, research, and education— nation’s use of renewable energy in sustaining in the medium term, by bringing together university the next three years. According to according to de Nazelle. They are free, departments, companies, and research President Obama, the Recovery Act he adds, to seek additional ﬁnancial institutes to focus on key strategic awards “will help close the clean support from the private sector, areas, according to EIT director energy gap that has grown between national funding agencies, and EU Gérard de Nazelle. The
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