Administration's innovation strategy focused on wireless, patent reform

The administration released its Strategy for American Innovation on Friday, an update to a 2009 report on innovation. Beginning with the State of the Union, President Obama has turned his focus primarily to boosting the technology and clean energy sectors in hopes of creating jobs & boosting economic growth.

"As President Obama described in his State of the Union Address, to win the future we must harness this inherent capacity for ingenuity in the American people, driving a wave of innovation that maintains America's leadership in a rapidly changing, increasingly competitive world," wrote federal chief technology officer Aneesh Chopra, chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers Austan Goolsbee, and National Economic Council Director Gene Sperling in a Friday editorial.

"This comprehensive strategy provides a blueprint for how we will secure our economic prosperity by out-innovating the rest of the world."

Topping the list is the president's new national wireless initiative, which aims to provide 98 percent of Americans with access to high-speed, fourth-generation wireless access.

The reports notes the administration is planning to free up 500 MHz of wireless spectrum over the next ten years to avoid a "spectrum crunch." Obama will discuss the wireless plan in more detail in Michigan next Thursday.

Reducing the backlog of applications at the U.S. Patent & Trade Office is another crucial part of the administration's plan. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke announced this week that the department is planning to introduce a three-track system that will allow entrepreneurs to secure the most vital patents within one year while cutting normal processing time from 35 to 20 months.

The president's upcoming budget request will also continue the administration's Race to the Top program that rewards school districts engaged in education reform with additional funding.

The administration also plans a new Advanced Research Projects Agency - Education, reminiscent of DARPA at the Pentagon, which is responsible for some of the country's most important scientific breakthroughs.

Finally the report calls for the U.S. to generate 80 percent of its energy from clean sources by 2035 and proposes increasing funding for research and development in order to reach that goal.

The budget will also call for the extension of a tax credit for clean energy manufacturing and additional incentives to help the U.S. reach one million advanced technology vehicles on the road by 2015.

Several of the initiatives in the report dovetail with the administration's new Startup America program rolled out this week. Startup America aims to encourage entrepreneurship by matching private venture capital, reducing regulatory hurdles for small businesses and expanding community mentorship programs for startups nationwide.