While pretty much everyone everywhere is freaking out about the future rich country status of China and India (can you say self-fulfilling prophesy?), the ability to innovate is what will keep the rich countries rich. So who’s innovating? According to this EU report, the innovation leaders are
- United States
…in that order. But of course it’s the most shocking sound bite that has gotten all the attention: “…would trends for the 25 EU Member States remain stable, the gap with the US will not close within the next 50 years.” But focusing on the US generates the wrong metric. I tend to find everyone I know — in the US and Europe — underestimates how the EU influences European prosperity. It’s rarely ever discussed here in the US, but Europe is gradually building the kind of large, diverse trading environment that exists in the United States, trading not only goods but knowledge and expertise. A metric I’d like to see is the amount of innovation before and after EU initiatives, and how trading labor costs for knowledge across borders can bring innovation from the high innovation areas to the low innovation areas.