General Background on Innovation

The Role of Innovation in California's Post Recession Economy

As California slowly moves out of the recession, it is clear that the next economy will require new and more agile thinking about resources and the deployment of human, physical and financial capital.  Economic researchers have identified several key emerging trends that will significantly redefine the U.S. economy in the post-recession era: 

  • Nations and states will become less significant and cities and regions will become the more dominant drivers of economic growth. 
  • New information and transportation technologies will expand networks making global relationships increasingly more important.
  • Both ideas and products will increasingly be developed and assembled within innovation networks, that are more collaborative than combative.
  • Job growth will be driven by smaller size companies that are better able to meet specialized consumer needs and connect to diverse supply chains within expanding global markets.
  • Scarcity and rising prices will put increasing pressure on the development and deployment of alternative and lower carbon fuels. 
  • As the large Boomer population transitions from the workforce, productivity will become even more dependent on accessing middle and high skilled workers that can utilize evolving technologies and systems.

  • The available workforce will be substantially smaller, more diverse, and have educational backgrounds that were provided through school systems that lag other industrialized nations.

Being successful in the post-recession economy will require governments, businesses and workers to transcend old economic and workforce development frameworks.  The emerging workplace will demand deeper collaborations among businesses, workers, governments and educators.  Education and training will also need to be more highly integrated with career pathways being well articulated between the K-12, the state's higher education systems, and workforce training providers.   

In the post-recession economy, governments will need to conceive of, approve and help finance comprehensive infrastructure networks that support both the joint development, as well as the exchange of goods, services and ideas across rural and urban communities, state-to-state and state-to-nations.

Success in this constantly evolving global economy will require California to implement a sustained innovation agenda that embraces entrepreneurship, creativity, diversity and the new models of business engagement, while also removing barriers to innovation and change. 

On Tuesday, August 7, 2012 three policy and research committees of the California State Assembly held a joint hearing to examine how California could retain its competitive edge and historic position as a "first mover" among nations.  During the course of the hearing, presentations were made on the role of innovation within the global, U.S. and state economies and how California can use these best innovation practices to remain a top tier partner in innovation and technology development activities.

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