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Innovation and competitiveness: How to encourage the next great U.S. inventions

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Few doubt that to grow, the nation must innovate -- but how? We invite readers to post their specific ideas for accelerating development of the products, technologies and ideas we need to compete in global markets.

The cause of the sluggishness in the U.S. economy may be a matter of varied opinion, but the value of innovation is not. In this country with a distinguished history of engineering, running from the Model T to the iphone, the question is not whether but how to make innovation happen more often.

FINAL CHECK-IN: Check out this roundup of the most interesting ideas about how to encourage the next great U.S. inventions

MIDPOINT CHECK-IN: Post readers weigh in with ideas about education reform, simplifying the visa system and more

By some measures, the U.S. innovation edge has dropped in recent decades. For example, the U.S. ranks 11th of 44 countries in terms of broadband technology quality and subscription rates, according to the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation. It was eighth in terms of government investments as a share of GDP, and 10th on a measure of education of adults, the foundation. Yet American workers remain among the most productive, in terms of GDP per hour worked.

There is no shortage of general recommendations out there for inspiring innovation.

Maybe, some say, we need to raise the number of people with college degrees, especially in the fields of engineering and other sciences. Maybe there must be more government and private investment in research and development. Maybe government should just step aside, ease regulations and lower taxes, and let market forces loose.

What are your thoughts? Please be specific when you post about what needs to be done, and if possible include data, case studies or personal experiences that support your proposed solution to what many believe is a shortfall in U.S. innovation.

Please include just one solution per post. That makes it easier for other readers to vote for their favorites or offer thoughtful responses. Read and respond to what others have posted, voting for ideas you find plausible. And feel free to consult this Crowd Sourced page’s collection of stories about innovation and competitiveness for facts and ideas -- just click on the tab above marked “News”.

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