Governors face the economic challenge of competing in a global economy in the midst of a national recession and state budgetary crisis. The key to surmounting this challenge is smart people and new discoveries—in other words, those things that support innovative capacity across the economy. Innovation drives productivity growth and job growth, which in turn, drives economic prosperity and global competitiveness.

To build a foundation for innovation-powered growth, governors can focus on four key areas:

  • Building expertise by investing in research and development infrastructure and skills of the workforce;
  • Focusing strategies and resources on export-oriented industry clusters;
  • Spurring interaction across industries, universities and research institutions; and,
  • Catalyzing and accelerating technology development, application, and new business start-ups across the economy.