LAS VEGAS - Innovation is
America's best strategy for resolving its economic challenges, and the Consumer
Electronics Association (CEA) has adopted as its prime mission the fostering of
innovation, CEA president/CEO Gary
Shapiro told a packed audience during his keynote address yesterday.
Whereas the main goal of some
trade associations is securing government favors, "CEA's cause is the cause of
innovation" and thus the "long-term health of the U.S. economy," he said.
For that reason, CEA has made CES
an affordable launch venue for small startups to bring awareness of their
innovations to investors and the press, Shapiro said. Past innovations launched
at CES have "fueled our economy" and made people's lives better, he said.
The "culture of freedom and
innovation" in the U.S., however, "is under threat," Shapiro warned. In the
past, U.S. innovation has been fostered by free trade, an entrepreneurial
system with flexible workplaces, a system that rewards those who succeed, and
government intrusion with a light touch, among many other things, including a
disdain for the status quo, Shapiro said. Unfortunately, Shapiro continued, "we
definitely shifted a bit on this," pointing to a lack of new free trade
agreements, more regulatory control, and government overspending.
CEA is doing its part to promote innovation by
fighting such entrenched interests as TV broadcasters that are "squatting on
our broadband future" by holding onto spectrum that could be used for
high-speed wireless-broadband service, Shapiro said.
CES is also doing its part this year, he
stressed. This year's CES is exhibiting "more innovation and cause for
celebration than any event in our history," he said, pointing to a variety of
innovations such as connected TVs. Connected devices will be a key contributor
to future innovation, he said, forecasting that by 2014, more than 70 percent
of CE products will be connected directly to the Internet. "CES is the place
where innovators want to be," he added.
Many of the ideas espoused by
Shapiro appear in his new book "The Comeback: How Innovation Will Restore the
American Dream." The book became available Wednesday.
LAS VEGAS - Innovation is America's best strategy for resolving its economic challenges, and the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) has adopted as its prime mission the fostering of innovation, CEA president/CEO Gary Shapiro told a packed audience during his keynote address yesterday.