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Shapiro Says Innovation A Cure For Economic Ills

LAS VEGAS — Gary Shapiro, president/CEO of the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) gave a rousing speech to a packed ballroom, championing innovation as the cure for many of America’s ills. 1/08/2013 02:54:00 PM Eastern

LAS VEGAS — Gary Shapiro, president/CEO of the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) gave a rousing speech to a packed ballroom, championing innovation as the cure for many of America’s ills.

Shapiro said, “Innovation is our best hope for growth, jobs and advancement of the human condition. As we debate how government should tax and spend, we can agree that encouraging innovation is a strategy that helps economic growth which reduces budget deficits and is good for nations and people.”

He then lead the audience in a round of applause for the 3,300 exhibitors of the 2013 International CES and went on to describe how — among other things — the huge trade show is the largest app event in the world, that a record 1.9 million net square feet were sold this year, Eureka Park has 150-plus companies, and Digital Health exhibits were up 25 percent. He noted the iLounge — which caters to all things Apple — has more than 400 companies filling 120,000 net square feet and would be a large trade show unto itself.

He also described a few of the products launching this week at CES — some 20,000 — from Ultra HD TV to sensing technologies, connected vehicles and beyond, breathe renewed energy into our economy.

“Our industry did well in 2012. In the U.S. we grew at 4.7 percent and passed the $200 billion mark. For 2013, we are projecting our industry will almost hit $210 billion, a 2.7 percent increase (see story Day 1, p. 1). While we had a lot of success in 2012,

much work remains to be done.”

Shapiro then proceed to tick off some of CEA’s successes in 2012, including free trade agreements, the freeing up of spectrum, the defeat of the SOPA/PIPA anti-Internet bills and how 2013 would be spent pushing for immigration reform, that CEA will be fighting to stop patent trolls and he practically pleaded for America’s politicians to work for the country and resolve the chronic deficit issues.

CEA’s lead cheerleader also introduced Ron Sanders, president of Warner Home Video, and five other Hollywood execs who announced “a groundbreaking, cross-industry digital promotion between their studios and several major consumer electronics manufacturers concerning UltraViolet-enabled movies.” (See story on p. 6 for additional details.)

A good portion of Shapiro’s keynote was given to innovation. “We believe so strongly in the power of innovation, we coined a new term — Ninja Innovation.”

That’s the title of his latest tome, a new book that describes what leads to success; how failure can help us succeed; and the common characteristics of successful companies’ all through the lens of the CE industry. All proceeds from the book go back to CEA to help fund industry initiatives.

“The ninja has no choice but to live by the words: Innovate or die. That is the phrase I have used on this stage for several years, and it is what defines our industry and our nation.”

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