When Steve Blank did a keynote at Startupbootcamp Demo Day last year, I had a chance to chat with him about the differences between Western Europe and the Western part of North America. Steve said that he thought that academic institutions in the US were moving further ahead working with private entrepreneurs rather than trying to go it alone. Looking at the presentation that Steve made on Friday, it looks like the US National Science Foundation accelerator is doing a lot to grow the hardware sector. The key is indeed to get the balance right. "The irony is that while the U.S. government has had a robust national science and technology policy, it lacks a national industrial policy; leaving that to private capital. This approach was successful when U.S. industry was aligned with manufacturing in the U.S., but became much less so in the last decade when the bottom-line drove industries offshore. In lieu of the U.S. government’s role in setting investment policy, venture capital has set the direction for what new industries attract capital".
There does seem to be progress. This is quote from Steve's blogpost today. Food for thought.
This is the start of the third year teaching teams of scientists (professors and their graduate students) in the National Science Foundation Innovation Corps (I-Corps). This month we’ve crossed ~300 teams in the first two years through the program.