Electronic devices that can be bent, folded, stretched, or conformed represent an emerging technology field with new applications and significant market potential. As a General Purpose Technology, flexible electronics have the potential to significantly enhance productivity and encourage the creation and growth of entrepreneurial firms. While U.S.-based firms and research centers possess important advantages, the United States faces major challenges in establishing a strong manufacturing base in this emerging field, including significant foreign competition in developing the industry.
As a part of its study of Best Practice in National Innovation Programs for Flexible Electronics, a National Research Council committee examined the role of research consortia around the world to advance the development and manufacture of flexible electronics technologies. It compared their structure, focus, funding, and likely impact, in order to determine what appropriate steps are needed to develop a vibrant and competitive industry in the United States. This report sets out the committee’s consensus findings and recommendations on the potential of the U.S. flexible electronics industry, the possible contributions of public-private partnerships to facilitate applied research and manufacturing, and other measures to support the development of the flexible electronics industry in the United States.
Flexible electronics, the production of electronic devices on flexible substrates, has the potential to become a significant growth sector in the economy. Recognizing its potential, a number of foreign countries are investing significant resources to develop and commercialize this technology. There may be a compelling national interest to do the same in the United States. As a part of its study of Best Practice in National Innovation Programs for Flexible Electronics, a National Research Council committee convened industry leaders, senior federal officials, and leading academics to examine the challenges faced by U.S. firms and research organizations in bringing a variety of new flexible electronics products to market. The meeting also highlighted the scale of support and institutional mechanisms found in Germany, Taiwan, and South Korea to advance flexible electronics technologies. This report includes a summary of the symposium presentations and an overview section reviewing the key challenges and opportunities for a globally competitive, U.S.-based flexible electronics industry.
Rising to the Challenge: U.S. Innovation Policy for the Global Economy
The culmination of the National Academies international study of Comparative National Innovation Policies: Best Practice for the 21st Century, this report provides a striking account of the challenges and opportunities faced by the United States in the face of global competition for the next generation of innovation. The report argues that today’s new paradigm challenges the traditional assumptions that have guided U.S. policymaking for decades regarding America’s ability to fully capitalize on its investments in science and innovation. The report gives an exceptionally comprehensive overview of the programs and policies in place around the world to build innovation-led economies and describes the deteriorating U.S. position in this international competitive landscape. A key argument is that the United States needs to renew its investments in the “pillars of U.S. innovation” if we are to capture economic value from our investments in research. Similarly, the United States needs to devote far more attention to understanding what the rest of the world is doing to nurture their economies. At the same time, the United States needs to make greater efforts to capture the outputs of U.S. investments in innovation, that is, to provide an environment that encourages the retention and growth of high-tech businesses and the high-quality jobs they bring. America's future economic growth and national security depend on renewed investments and sustained policy attention.
Determinants of Market Adoption of Advanced Energy Efficiency and Clean Energy Technologies
How can federal policies can accelerate the market adoption of advanced energy efficiency and low- or non-polluting energy technologies?
Education, Training and Certification Pathways to a Skilled Technical U.S. Workforce
How can jobs, workers, education and training programs in the U.S. be better aligned to support the skilled technical workforce?
Evaluation of the Advanced Research Projects Agency - Energy (ARPA-e)
Capitalizing on Science, Technology, and Innovation: An Assessment of the Small Business Innovation
Research Program - Phase II
In this second phase of the review of the Small Business Innovation Research Program (SBIR), an ad hoc committee will measure the program's progress against its legislative goals.
Immigration Policy and the Global Competition for Talent
What are the effects of policy changes on entry and retention of foreign workers, domestic markets and educational patterns?
Innovation Policy Forum
What is the impact of U.S. and foreign innovation programs?