Tech Didn’t Stop Covid-19: MIT Technology Review

The world received early warnings about Covid-19’s high transmission and mortality rates in early January, weeks before the disease took beyond China where it originated. Muddled communications, slow development of tests, fragmented data collection systems and equipment shortages compounded the spread. “In an age of big data in which companies like Google and Amazon use all sorts of personal information for their advertising and shopping operations, health authorities were making decisions blind,” reports David Rotman for MIT Technology Review. “A once-healthy innovation ecosystem in the US, capable of identifying and creating technologies essential to the country’s welfare, has been eroding for decades.” Government funding and policies shape innovation, but the US trusted free markets and entrepreneurs while neglecting government investment in science, research and development for manufacturing or infrastructure capability for basic supplies. Innovation and productivity gains have slowed in recent decades, and technological advances focused on retail, entertainment and blockbuster drugs rather than basics like vaccines or manufacturing. Managers emphasized low costs over resilience. A strong, centralized government is best suited for orchestrating policies that encourage a culture of innovation. – YaleGlobal

Tech Didn’t Stop Covid-19: MIT Technology Review

US paralysis and inability to contain Covid-19 reveal a deep and fundamental flaw in how the government fails to invest in policies that encourage innovation
David Rotman
Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Read the article from MIT Technology Review about how the US struggle with the Covid-19 pandemic is due to failure to invest in policies that support innovation.

David Rotman is editor at large of MIT Technology Review and writes about the intersection of chemistry, materials science, energy, manufacturing, and economics.

R&D Expenditures as Percent of GDP, Selected Nations, 2017 	Norway	2 	EU	2 	China 	2 	France	2 	World	2 	Finland 	3 	US	3 	Germany	3 	Denmark	3 	Japan 	3 	Sweden	3 	Israel 	5 	S Korea 	5
(Source: World Bank)

US R&D as Percent of GDP 		 Year	Total	Business funded	Federally funded	Other nonfederally funded  1995	2.4	1.45	0.82	0.13 	 2000	2.61	1.81	0.66	0.14 	 2005	2.5	1.59	0.73	0.17  2010	2.71	1.66	0.84	0.21  2015	2.71	1.83	0.66	0.22   2018	2.82	1.96	0.62	0.24
(Source: MIT Technology Review and Datawrapper)

MIT Technology Review © 2020

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