Based in Washington, DC, the Atlantic Council is a nonpartisan organization that promotes constructive US leadership and engagement in international affairs based on the central role of the Atlantic community in meeting today’s global challenges.

In its 2016 report entitled, Innovation, Leadership and National Security, the authors propose that both the US government and the American private sector take significant steps to encourage innovation beyond what the United States, already an innovative society, has successfully accomplished.

The key elements will be enhanced development of the “cluster model” for innovation, which engages the public, private, and nonprofit sectors jointly; greater government focus on innovation; increased support for innovation by corporations; expanding the spectrum of entrepreneurs; and maintaining the diversity of ideas and approaches necessary for innovation while expanding the synergies between and among the multiple elements of the innovation landscape, including increasing the permeability between the national security agencies and the private sector.

Specific reccomendations from the report include:

A. Enhanced deployment of the cluster model

1) Expand nonmanufacturing clusters, which would bring together public, private, and nonprofit entities.  

  2) Expand the manufacturer “cluster” model (currently being implemented by the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI)

B. Greater government focus on innovation

3) Increase federal funding for research and development to at least one percent of GDP with approximately one-half to go to basic and advanced research.

4) Expand access to international research and development by organizing coordination with key entities outside the United States including through the establishment of collocated research centers in select countries at universities and similar entities.

5) Expand government efforts into key focused arenas with projects that nurture innovation

C. Increased support for innovation by corporations

6) Authorize creation of tax-advantaged subsidiaries and investments, including tax-free technology bonds, focused on innovation in critical areas

7) Authorize “innovation assessments” by regulators to include assessment of technology regulation linkages,

8) Encourage increased “philanthropic entrepreneurs” efforts into innovation, especially through social and cultural incentives

9) Encourage talent growth through the expansion of clusters as an attractive environment for elite researchers and the development of technical training through community college and online courses for the creation of the necessary production and related skills as well as expanded efforts on diversity.

E. Expand synergy between and among the key elements of the innovation landscape but encourage diverse approaches so as to maximize the prospect of innovation

10) Expand the permeability between national security agencies and the private sector by revising the federal acquisition approach in order to support key innovative defense and national security projects 

Click here to download a copy of this report: