Innovation and Intellectual Property Protection Will Drive Green Job Creation

Many of Advocacy’s studies over its history have focused on how small businesses, as well as entrepreneurs of all demographic groups, contribute to job creation and economic growth through innovative technologies (see, for example, the study released this week on High-tech Immigrant Entrepreneurship in the United States.

At a recent National Economists Club meeting, Dr. Robert Shapiro, chair of the ecoIdea Institute, discussed economic growth and its relationship to energy independence. He notes that the pace of innovation seems to be accelerating and asks why. “Part of it is science,” he notes. “This is a period of breakthroughs in genomics and computer science in particular. Part of it is the implications and applications of the enormous advances in information technologies. We can figure out things that before we never had the techniques and person power to take on. And part of it is globalization, which gives almost any organization access to much of the global pool of human capital.”

If, as climate science implies, there is an urgent need to curtail greenhouse gas emissions, he suggests that “the intersection of climate and economic policy lies in innovation.” He further notes that “the development and spread of particular innovations such as breakthrough nanotechnology-based solar applications…depend on the prospect of securing the returns from others’ use of those innovations… That means that we cannot separate preserving the climate and driving economic growth from protecting intellectual property rights since those rights are the essential basis for those returns.”

Food for thought. The full presentation podcast is located here.

— Kathryn Tobias, Senior Editor

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