(Information Technology & Innovation Foundation, 3/27/17)
The new innovation orchard model brings together university, industry, and potentially government partners to provide start-ups with the know-how, access to technology, equipment, and bridge funding to scale up new technologies.
Federal support for R&D has fallen precipitously in recent years as a share of gross domestic product (GDP), and because of this, the United States risks slipping significantly as a global innovation competitor. More federal investment is needed to avoid falling behind. But it will be difficult to find political support for more funding, since Democrats are reluctant to reduce entitlement spending, and Republicans want to cut budgets, including science budgets. So America will likely be forced to make the best out of a bad situation. One way to do that is to focus more effectively on spurring innovation commercialization—and one emerging idea is the creation of “innovation orchards.”