The first world power just made a commendable self-criticism. Washington recognizes that the U.S. must accelerate the design of a strategy to generate greater degree of competitiveness. A challenge that Barack Obama described in his speech on the State of the Union, vividly: "If we win the future, if we want innovation to create jobs in America and beyond our borders, we need to innovate, educate and make more the rest of the world. " In just one month after the annual address of the current White House occupant, the challenge of competitiveness and has-armed the tactical parameters of a call to strengthen technology leadership he has shown the United States in the last two decades.

This initiative called Start America and has been able to bridge immediate between the public and private resources coincides with a new European attempt to dust the laudable mission statement of the Lisbon Agenda (2000) to convert the Old global technological leadership and a space for sustainable growth, full employment and the green economy. The difference is that, this time, the Obama Administration has not even looked at the extraordinary summit of Heads of State and Government on 11 March in Brussels in which the Pact for Competitiveness, chiseled by the Franco-German axis (the hottest point is the linking of wages to productivity rather than inflation), gave way to the so-called Pact of the Euro, further proof that the urgency of the debt crisis in the currency area leaves relegated sine die the translation of a genuine European competitiveness agenda.

China moves to Europe as U.S. rival

Consequently, the lost decade in search of El Dorado technology for much of the EU partners, with the notable exception of Germany and the Nordic countries, has certified that U.S. rival in this field also is ... China. Obama had no hesitation in pointing in this direction from the podium of the U.S. Congress: "China is educating its children from an early age and for longer, with special emphasis on math and science," he admitted they are investing in new technologies and are building faster trains and most modern airports. " The U.S. president's words hint at a new realpolitik. He explains Sean Pool, an analyst at Center for American Progress think-tank close to the Democratic Party. "The days of China as an economy of low cost, low-technology manufacturer and supplier of quality components of the industrialized powers have passed into history," he says. Now, qualifies Pool, Great World Factory not only leads the production of manufactured consumer goods with minimum standards of quality, but also the supply of high technology, developed massively in the U.S. and other innovation centers, and dot . com generate jobs in the Asian giant and start competing with ease in the lucrative overseas market.

But, on what foundation rests Startup America, the strategy launched last day of January by the White House and government agencies with innovative technology firms in one of the public-private projects more ambitious? Pool Start clarifies that combines the presidential campaign America Education for Innovation, with another project of the White House, called Change Equation, "nonprofit organization dedicated to mobilizing the business community in order to improve the quality of science, technology, math and engineering education in the United States, and specific commitments of companies and institutions to "free private capital to achieve these social and technological goals."

Objectives of American strategy

The days of China as an economy of low cost, low-technology manufacturer and supplier of quality components of the industrialized powers have passed into history

This initiative has a triple focus. First, in education, to broaden the impact of private sector in educational programs, institutes, universities and other educational bodies and cover, with its financial coverage, thousands of new students. Second, in trade, to clarify the ways of transition to market research from a larger number of universities, innovation centers and state and municipal programs of technological development. And third, pressing the accelerator driven successful programs to attract business from experienced mentors and donors to promote innovation.

However, unlike in Europe and especially Spain, the theoretical component was reflected almost immediately in specific commitments by major U.S. corporations. So, Intel Capital, the venture capital arm of the international technology company, has released an immediate check of $ 200 million to invest in American firms, in addition to moving the program Startup America know-how on best investment practices. IBM will allocate 150 million this year to a fund to promote new partnerships and business opportunities in America. The list is long: Hewlett Packard fatten your online learning why companies moved their technological knowledge and education to owners of SMEs in order to increase their market niches; Facebook organized between 12 and 15 events this year throughout the country, within the federal initiative, in which engineers, computer scientists and prestigious academic formulas moved business to gain size, and 55 million Blackstone expands its programs to firms in higher education.

Institutional and public support to SMEs

The strong support not only America Startup firms. Business Network Technology (NFTE, according to its acronym in English) provide business education to students from low income households. Besides involving several of its partners into concrete plans. For example, the Pearson Foundation will build a digital platform for teachers that aims to be an online community for sharing ideas, collaboration and improvement of teaching methods, which not only can access the 5,000 associate professors, but the NFTE any teacher interested in the business world. Google, meanwhile, will sponsor two programs this network: one that stated, in real time, any doubts raised by local teachers to a group of experts from the association and another, for which this institution is committed to improving business , with courses in engineering and innovation, the curriculum of the candidates who so request.

In parallel, the Obama Administration has begun to act on several fronts. In the budgetary field, with a proposal to make permanent the exemptions in the income tax for strategic investments in small businesses, in effect, on an interim basis since September 2010, or by creating new tax breaks and financial information about private capital flows aimed at SMEs in low-income levels.

Similarly, the SBA, a federal agency for small businesses, will, for the next five years, a credit line of $ 2,000 million for investment in the private sector, otherwise than 1,000 million for projects that contribute to balance inequalities in some regions and a third, also of 1,000 million in support of technology companies that decide to cross the valley of death called up to the commercial grade. In addition to resources from the departments of Energy, to create a hundred new high-tech companies, Trade-to accelerate the placing on the market of technological instruments, creating new clusters of innovation and boost mergers, project that involved six agencies are federal-and the commitment of the Treasury to ease regulatory requirements on relief to small businesses that, together, totaled 5,000 million dollars.

Contrast to Spain

In the U.S., the immigrant population was responsible for 25% of new-tech companies and made in U.S. patents between 1995 and 2005. USA welcomes its universities to 57% of foreign students who achieve post-doctoral degree in the world

This battery-specific plans to which we must add sketches that are on the table for negotiation between the White House and Congress on technology in education quality, renewable energies, new funds and federal standards to spur innovation levels, raising highly skilled immigrants and the establishment of composite indicators to measure reliably the competitiveness in all EU Member States contrasts with the absence of concrete measures in the newly begotten Business Council for Competitiveness Spanish. The G-17 of the major Spanish companies, presented to society last month Moncloa just sent his first contribution to the recovery of Spain: his recipe to add flexibility to the labor market, the perennial Achilles heel that hinders productivity.

A very scarce and anecdotal background compared to the arsenal of measures to boost competitiveness, name this select club that leads the U.S. Spanish-raised in unison from their public and private, with technology as a flag . Although Spain has only two companies, Telefónica and Amadeus, among the hundred European (and 15 among 1,000) with increased spending on R & D that already in 2007, the last year of the fifteen uninterrupted prosperity, accumulated a two-year delay in meeting its objective of the Lisbon Agenda to dedicate 2% of GDP on R + D + i (one point less than their more advanced partners) in 2010, or that has not been able to include any company in the annual rankings of the World Economic Forum (WEF) which set the hundred firms to acquire technological potential in the medium term, the status of multinational companies that dominate American, European and major emerging markets.

American economic future

United States, however, has begun its journey towards the new economy, in its version 2.0, after a thorough examination of conscience to maintain unchanged despite global supremacy in labor productivity. This is attested by two reports, one of the McKinsey Global Institute, published in Foreign Policy, and one of The Conference Board, an institution of economic analysis related to the Federal Reserve. The latter found that this parameter increased by 2.8% last year compared to 1.6% in Europe, and managed to restore the pulse, even during the two years of recession and despite the marked decrease in the number of hours worked by the massive expulsion of active labor market. However, the warning signs of the study are clear and point to productivity rates of 8.7% in China, India 5.4%, 4% in Brazil and 3.1% in Russia. For its part, the consulting firm McKinsey calls for structural reforms not only SMEs but also for large companies. In particular, tax cuts in companies more freedom to hire foreign talent and reduction of bureaucratic obstacles. Not for nothing, "recalls this study," American multinationals totaled 23% of GDP in the private sector contributed 31% to the growth of the economy and the 41% productivity gains since 1990.

Sharmin Mossavar-Rahmani, head of investment of private equity investments of Goldman Sachs, called attention, in a report entitled Stay the course on the competitive advantages of U.S. compared to Europe and other parts of the planet. And in particular, two. On the one hand, its market unit, which provides budgetary discipline to the problems facing Germany is to instill fiscal discipline in the peripheral economies of the currency area and the Federal Reserve policy, which began in early 2008 cuts types compared to the ECB's decision increasing the price of money a month before the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers. On the other, its social fabric and culture of extracting various data: the immigrant population was responsible for 25% of new-tech companies and made in U.S. patents between 1995 and 2005, welcomes its universities to 57 % of foreign students who achieve post-doctoral degree in the world and its expenditures on R + D + i, estimated at 396,000 billion, accounting for 34.4% of the global total, only three percent less than the cost of Asia, including Japan, China and India.

No doubt all this make more sense if Obama's words in his speech on the State of the Union, when he said, to call for increased competitiveness, improved technology infrastructure, a new leap in innovation and highly skilled workers from an educational system even more efficient to maintain its global hegemony, at heart, "this proposal is the same as the Americans have been doing the last 200 years, reinvent ourselves."

* Ignacio J. Sunday is a journalist.

0 comentarios