I’m Natalia Olson-Urtecho, a small business owner and cleantech entrepreneur in Philadelphia.
There many factors that have contributed to our competiveness, such as a strong manufacturing sector, intellectual Property protection, access to foreign markets. And although these are often discussed independently, they are, in fact, interconnected. For example, research labs produce skilled workers, skilled workers design infrastructure, infrastructure facilitates research, leading to new industries.
An amazing transformation of our infrastructure occurred during the 20th century, the country became electrified, clean water became widely available, air transport became ubiquitous, and the interstate highway system was built.
Between 1980 and 2007, over 500,000 new businesses were started in new industries. Today we see a growth in alternative energy and energy efficient and clean technologies which are crucial to lower our dependence on oil.
Basically to make our economy grow, we need to sell more goods to the world, prepare our work force by training workers and supporting basic foundational R&D in a number of industries and invest in education, research and infrastructure.
Did you know that manufacturing is the largest contributor to U.S. exports, in 2010, manufacturing accounted for 86 percent of U.S. goods exports. And manufacturing firms accounted for 67 percent of total business R&D performed in the US.
Growing the nation’s exports is crucial to economic growth.President Obama’s National Ex-port Initiative set the ambitious goal of doubling U.S. exports by the end of 2014, thereby supporting millions of new jobs.
I look forward to hearing from all of yoU - so please make sure you check out the "Competes" website that will be updated regularly. Thank-you.