The following is the working issue statement for the Innovation group.

Reasons to address:
New challenges have arisen for the US, challenges that impact its competitiveness on the global scale and which effect its economy and ultimately the quality of life of its citizens. The effects of globalization place the US in direct competition for the kind of talent and environment required to foster technological innovation, a key factor in catalyzing growth.

MHTA is uniquely positioned to raise awareness at the state level to establish what is needed to foster an environment for innovation and to support the development of people in technology and beyond. As a leadership group representing many industries, the ACE Leadership group has the unique ability to generate practical strategies based in real-world experiences. We have access to individuals and organizations that have a perspective on ways to innovate services and products to meet global competition. The outcome of fostering an innovative environment will enable Minnesota companies to produce more innovative products with the potential to improve their profitability. There is an opportunity to attract key talent and innovative companies to Minnesota, which will benefit Minnesota-based companies and the general economy.

Competition with nations abroad who have more favorable cost advantages impedes growth and sustainable competitive advantages of Minnesota companies. We need resources allocated to innovation in order to provide incentives to create, realize and manage innovative ideas. How can we foster an environment of innovation, in Minnesota, in order to remain competitive nation-wide and globally? What actions should Minnesota take in the area of economic and technology policy to keep us competitive? What steps can we take to foster science and engineering research? We need to develop skills in our students in order to compete globally. How can we attract and retain innovative people and companies to Minnesota?

There has been a flood of data and analysis to suggest that the US' lead in areas of science and technology is slipping. A 2006 report commissioned by the US Congress, "Rising Above The Gathering Storm: Energizing and Employing America for a Brighter Economic Future", argues that a failure to address these issues will result in the US losing its lead as a both high-technology goods market and exporter effecting US and foreign investment in multinational companies and our economy as a whole. Ultimately, we will see a decline in job growth, salaries for those in the science/technology industries, GDP, and per capita income. All of these things suggest degredation of the quality of life and security for the US and its citizens.

Locally, addressing global competition will allow Minnesota companies to reinvest in businesses and to create new jobs in Minnesota by finding ways to compete. We can also leverage other company’s strengths to fuel growth. Fostering an innovative environment means organizations will produce new products. Ignoring it may result in stagnation of new product development or in products and services become obsolete and stagnate. Without addressing the skills needed, people, communities and businesses will fail to stay connected to the market place and will fail economically as a result. If we can develop the skills to react and be creative with technology we can lead the world and take advantage of its growing resources.

Who Benefits:
Minnesota-based companies who may improve their profitability and may have access to the best talent, Minnesota workers who will have the skills to meet this competitive market and Minnesota public who, having more competitive companies, will allow us to raise standards of living & benefit people in other countries. Customers will benefit because products are improved and designed to meet their needs. Employees will benefit as they will feel they have direct contributions into the creation/ realization of innovative ideas. Ultimately the entire community suffers if there is a wide gap between the leaders and the laggards. Everyone benefits from successful businesses in the community.

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