Innovation is key to U.S. regaining competitive edge, expert says at UF

By Anthony Clark | The Gainesville Sun

As Gainesville ponders its economic future, business professor John Doggett had this warning:

The U.S. is in danger of losing its economic standing in the world unless it can quickly grow the economy by encouraging entrepreneurship such as efforts to build university research inventions into companies.

Doggett was keynote speaker at the Models of Innovation education forum about economic development Thursday night at the University of Florida’s Phillips Center for the Performing Arts.

Doggett is senior lecturer in the Department of Management at the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas at Austin.

The U.S. is losing its competitive edge to countries such as Brazil, Russia, India and China, he said, citing a Conference Board forecast that China will overtake the U.S. as the largest economy in the world next year.

“If that is not a wake-up call, I don’t know what is,” he said.

The answer, Doggett said, is to create communities that encourage entrepreneurship and partner with universities to commercialize research.

The gold standard is Silicon Valley, he said, where Stanford University’s College of Engineering does not grant tenure to any professor who doesn’t start a company.

Doggett was critical of what he said were Washington politicians’ spend-and-tax policies of recent years, putting the nation deeper into debt to foreign countries. He said U.S. companies also have to do business globally to compete, which he said Washington calls “un-American.”

Virginia MacKoul

Virginia is a graduate from the University of Florida's College of Design Construction and Planning with a degree in Sustainability and the Built Environment, and a minor in Urban Regional Planning. Virginia joined the Front Street team in 2011, as an intern. Upon graduation, Virginia joined the Front Street team full-time as the Director of Client Services. Ms. MacKoul’s addition furthers Front Street’s continued growth and expansion within Gainesville and other North Central Florida markets. She was promoted to Director of Marketing in 2014 and now manages the firm’s team of interns and oversees all marketing and branding activity. Virginia was born in Boston and moved to Lee County, Florida in 1997. Virginia graduated her high school's International Baccalaureate program and started at the University of Florida with a focus on Architecture. Virginia shares Front Street's passion of giving back to the community and those in need. Virginia's hobbies include photography, cooking, football, movies, music, and spending time with her dog, Brinkley.

 Subscribe in a reader

Subscribe to Front Street's News Page by Email