Growth and innovation go hand-in-hand, with innovation driving increased competitiveness for businesses and countries alike. There are several steps that governments can take to foster innovation—and the global pandemic has underscored the importance of their support for public research and development as an integral part of a long-term economic development strategy.
Amidst ever-present pressure to reduce spending, the Americas must continue to promote and financially invest in local and regional multi-stakeholder forums; long-term sustainable growth hinges upon vibrant cross-industry communities that afford industry leaders a space to convene and dialogue about innovations, as well as co-contribute to education, knowledge-sharing, and capacity building. Likewise, protecting the science, technology, and innovation budgets that support research and development are integral to addressing current and future challenges for the Americas.
Governments can help drive innovation by improving access to and the quality of education and training. In collaboration with the private sector, governments should address the skills gap by enhancing the market relevance of education and training, focusing on STEM, digital skills, entrepreneurship, foreign language, and upskilling and reskilling.