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US must innovate to prosper in globalised market; Obama

By Nick Taylor , 26-Jan-2011

The US must improve innovation and education to prosper in the new globalised, outsourced operating environment, according to President Obama.

Technological advances and globalisation have dramatically changed the business environment. In the US, these factors have contributed to “the shuttered windows of once booming factories” and the nation must respond, said President Barack Obama in the State of the Union Address.

China and India realised that with some changes of their own, they could compete in this new world. And so they started educating their children earlier and longer, with greater emphasis on math and science. They're investing in research and new technologies”, said Obama.

In response, Obama said the US needs “to out-innovate, out-educate, and out-build the rest of the world”. To boost innovation investments will be made in a number of high technology areas, including biomedical research.

The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) responded to this point. In its statement PhRMA said: “We believe that medical innovation specifically will continue to play a crucial role in advancing patient health and spurring economic growth in the US.”

More than innovation

The Society of Chemical Manufacturers and Affiliates (SOCMA) also welcomed the focus on innovation but said this must be accompanied by appropriate regulation. “Innovation creates opportunity and prosperity while regulation consumes them”, said Larry Sloan, CEO of SOCMA.

Obama referred to regulation. "I've ordered a review of government regulations. When we find rules that put an unnecessary burden on businesses, we will fix them. But I will not hesitate to create or enforce commonsense safeguards to protect the American people”, said Obama.

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