1. Overview of the R&I system
The U.S. economy is the largest and among the most innovative in the world. The government invests massively in research—both basic and applied. The innovation system benefits from entrepreneurial universities that develop new ideas and have a culture that supports its exploitation by their faculty and students, who are in turn able to obtain early stage funding from a variety of sources in order to take these ideas to the market. The markets in turn are both competitive and largely open to the emergence of new, sometimes disruptive, technologies. The supportive policy framework, e.g. bankruptcy laws, and the willingness to accept new technologies, in addition to the presence of venture funding and experienced management sometimes enable these new firms to obtain significant global scale. The system is not without its challenges, nonetheless, the innovation system of the United States remains the most robust system in the world. Its strengths rely heavily on its university systems, multiple mission-oriented research agencies, deep financial markets, and positive framework conditions with regard to labor, bankruptcy, and tax laws. The strengths of its institutions, notably its innovation agencies and research universities, combined with the scope and scale of the technology investments, the size of the domestic market, and the impact of innovative procurement all give the United States unique advantages in fostering innovation.