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The newspaper of The Johns Hopkins University February 13, 2006 | Vol. 35 No. 21
U.S. leaders launch campaign promoting domestic competitiveness

A wide array of leaders representing business, academia and public service last week launched a national campaign to protect and enhance America’s competitiveness. The effort, which is part of the Council on Competitiveness’ National Innovation Initiative, kicked off with an advertising campaign that began Feb. 8 in The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post and several public policy publications.

Johns Hopkins President William R. Brody and Intel chairman Craig R. Barrett co-chair the NII Leadership Council, a group of private sector leaders who will guide the implementation of the National Innovation Initiative agenda over the coming years.

The ad—headlined "Where in the World Will the Next Big Idea Come From?"—advocates a number of policy proposals that will ensure America remains the global leader in innovation. It is signed by more than 140 luminaries, including industry CEOs, college presidents, state governors and former government officials.

"The individuals and organizations who joined together in this effort, including many of the nation’s top minds from industry, academia and government, have concluded that the United States faces an unprecedented challenge to its long-term global economic leadership and consequently the well-being and prosperity of its citizens," Brody said.

"We must innovate to compete and, if we are to innovate, we must first invest in our people, our infrastructure and our desire for knowledge."

Said Barrett, "The supporters of this effort, while diverse in background and perspective, are united in our call to policy-makers. The U.S. must choose to compete, and we must act quickly in order to retain our economic and technological leadership into the future."

The ad calls for increased investments in basic research, improved math and science education, new incentives for research and development, and policies that will continue to attract and retain in America the brightest minds from around the world.

Chad Holliday, chairman and chief executive officer of DuPont and chairman of the Council on Competitiveness, said, "We are seeing a consensus emerging across the private and public sectors for action on a national innovation plan. The government plays a critical role in creating the right environment for innovation to flourish, which, in turn, creates economic growth and jobs here in America."

In addition to the advertising effort, the groups involved in the campaign will work with the administration and Congress to educate citizens about the importance of American innovation and will work to support legislation that will promote competitiveness. Thus far, the issue has garnered widespread bipartisan support in both the House of Representatives and the Senate and was a central part of President Bush’s recent State of the Union speech.

For more information on this campaign and on how America can remain the global leader in innovation, go to


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