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Crow joins 'Innovation America' initiative

December 20, 2006

In an effort to strengthen the United States ' capacity to compete as an innovator in the global economy, the National Governors Association (NGA) has launched a 17-member task force, appointing ASU President Michael Crow to the bipartisan group of governors, academic leaders and business members to help guide the “Innovation America” initiative.

Crow will be working with the task force to identify challenges to innovation and determine the most promising strategies, policies and programs for addressing them. The agenda includes discussions focused on the state innovation landscape, K-12 science, technology, engineering and mathematics education, and the role of postsecondary education as an engine of innovation.

Key gubernatorial staff members will learn about the resources being developed through the initiative and begin framing an action plan for creating an “innovation environment” in each state.

“America's economic dominance over the past 100 years has left it unable to remember what it means to have serious challengers for economic, industrial, and military pre-eminence in the world,” Crow says. “But, by some indicators other regions of the world are gaining on us rapidly, threatening one day to surpass the United States as the dominant scientific and technological power on Earth. Whether we realize it or not, we face unprecedented competition on a vast scale, and it is imperative that we gear up for this competition now.”

The task force, chaired by Gov. Janet Napolitano, has recruited some of the country's most popular innovators, including Meg Whitman, president and chief executive officer of eBay Inc., as it faces the unique challenge of developing ways to foster American ingenuity.

“To maximize our strengths in this increasingly global environment, governors must partner with the business and academic communities to ensure state policies complement and reinforce private sector innovation,” Napolitano says. “The ‘Innovation America' task force provides an outstanding forum for these groups to work together to enhance our economic competitiveness.”