Solutions to the country’s growing water challenges lie, in part, with the development and adoption of new innovative technologies. Yet, in comparison to the clean energy sector, innovation in the water sector has remained low. Using the numbers of patents filed in clean energy and water purification as indicators, the clean energy sector has exhibited a much higher rate of innovation over the past decade.
In the past 40 years, as the pace of innovation has slowed, American workers have experienced lower growth rates of productivity and compensation.
Technological and medical innovations have drastically reduced the mortality rate and increased life expectancy in the United States
The United States lags far behind other countries in training students in the STEM fields that advance scientific and technological innovations.
The cost of computing has fallen spectacularly since the 1980s, creating a strong incentive for employers to substitute cheap technology for expensive labor.
Patent counts are one way to measure innovation. They are an imperfect measure, however, because patents vary in importance and some might be low quality. Due to varying standards, it is more difficult to make cross-national and over-time comparisons; making those comparisons can be informative about both innovation and differences in countries’ patent systems, however.