A little house keeping. I was on the road last week, speaking about Advantage in Berkeley and Seattle. About ten days ago, Foreign Policy published my response to the State of the Union, “The Great Invention Race,” and CFR.org just posted some of my thoughts on the budget and innovation—increased spending is definitely good news (if it does not eventually get slashed in the battle to reduce the budget deficit), but it is not enough.
One of the most interesting exchanges I had on the West Coast involved a serial entrepreneur who was trying to commercialize a dual-use technology but kept running into government bureaucracy. Venture capital was scared away from making an early investment, and hiring foreign-born workers was near impossible because of deemed export control laws—a Chinese engineer, for example, who works with technology that is controlled for export is “deemed” an export, and the company must obtain a license for that worker to use the technology in the lab.