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Has the U.S. lost technological supremacy?

Technology in general and digital technology specifically has impacted every aspect of our daily lives. Our dependency on it will only grow as we move toward 2020. Let's face it: Our nation's economic well-being and national security are substantially dependent upon digital technology. That's what makes the following figures so troubling.

Consulting icon Accenture recently released a report saying digital technologies could potentially drive $1.36 trillion in additional output in the world's top ten economies in 2020. Here are three areas that are arguably the most troubling for us.

  • R&D Spending — The U.S. ranks 2nd behind the Japan.
  • Strategy Process — The U.S. ranks third behind the Netherlands and China.
  • Technology Process — The U.S. ranks third behind the Netherlands and Germany.

This is not in the best interest of the U.S. from an economic or national security perspective. Germany, the Netherlands and China have lower rating on R&D spending, yet are higher rated when it comes to innovation. So this is not necessarily about increasing funding of R&D.

Resource: Get the Accenture report

We have become accustom to viewing the United States as the global leader in technology and the leader in military and intelligence. This report would certainly call into question how long that view will remain accurate. Or perhaps the U.S. has already lost that leadership position and that fact is unrecognized.

The United States must accelerate our innovation and generation of new creative ideas that build our future and the future of the rest of the world. To do this is a sizeable undertaking and one that will not takes days, weeks or months; but years. Given the implications, this cannot be overlooked, discounted or just ignored.

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