The Council’s 30th Anniversary and the 2016 National Competitiveness Forum (NCF) was a time for reflection and an opportunity to refine and renew our mission. In an era of uncertainty and economic turbulence, the Council is committed to developing and advocating for a bipartisan, pro-growth, innovation agenda for America’s future prosperity. This policy agenda, supported by our membership of private-sector leaders representing a broad cross-section of the economy, ensures that, three decades after our founding, we remain at the forefront of competitiveness thought leadership that drives tangible results.
Over the past year, the Council strengthened and launched public-private partnerships with key federal agencies, including the U.S. Department of Energy and the National Science Foundation (NSF). These collaborations ignited innovative programs across the country such as the U.S. Department of Energy’s High Performance Computing for Manufacturing Program and Technologist in Residence initiative, both of which are designed to enhance cooperation and spur advanced technology commercialization. At the same time, the Council’s work with NSF continued to build upon the legacy of our groundbreaking National Innovation Initiative to explore the evolution of innovation in the United States and how best to maximize its potential with the broadest demographic possible.
Partnerships extended to the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue, as well. The Council joined with Senators Chris Coons (D-DE) and Jerry Moran (R-KS) to launch the Senate Competitiveness Caucus. Caucus briefings on Capitol Hill featured members of the Council’s Technology Leadership and Strategy Initiative and the release of two major reports—Work: Thriving in a Turbulent, Technological and Transformed Global Economy and the Advanced Technologies Initiative. In addition to testifying before the Senate, Council members participated in Capitol Hill policy forums on issues such as advanced manufacturing, research funding and biosciences. Our members’ voices were heard before a wide range of policymakers committed to America’s competitive future.
The Council’s message remains grounded in its cutting-edge policy work spearheaded by our key initiatives: the Energy & Manufacturing Competitiveness Partnership; the Technology Leadership and Strategy Initiative; and the High Performance Computing Advisory Committee. In addition, deep partnerships with longtime Council members help us to understand the ongoing evolution in our innovation ecosystem and to promulgate new models to extend and maximize economic potential across the broadest possible demographic landscape.
As we enter our next 30 years, members of the U.S. Council on Competitiveness will continue to champion the tremendous potential and power of the U.S. economy propelled by talented, creative people. America retains significant competitive advantages: our entrepreneurial drive is unmatched; our colleges and universities are the envy of the world; our innovation ecosystem remains the gold standard.
With a presidential transition underway, the 2016 NCF came at a particularly important time. The Clarion Call – our annual assessment of the nation’s competitiveness, coupled with a roadmap for policymakers to follow for American prosperity, highlighted that despite our inherent strengths, we walk on uncertain grounds. Speakers and panelists took take full advantage of this opportunity to share their perspectives on the issues with both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue.
The 2016 NCF featured conversations on critical aspects of the competitiveness landscape with CEOs, university presidents, labor leaders and national lab directors.