Innovation Race | Movie Threat

There is no doubt that over the past century, the United States has been the global innovator in just about everything imaginable…technology, industry, and medicine, to name a few. -ones. However, Luke Livingston’s documentary, Race for innovationwarns us of an imminent threat that could not only oust the United States from its decades-long first place, but could represent fundamental global economic change.

Race for innovation opens with the history of American innovation. The first threat came from Russia when they launched Sputnik into orbit around the earth. This threat to national security prompted the United States to enter the space race and send a man to the moon. Now that Russia has long been irrelevant, China is now making breakthroughs in space exploration by successfully sending a rover to the surface of Mars and much bigger plans to come.

Livingston’s documentary shows how China has suddenly become an important leader in global technology. For decades, China was primarily known as a manufacturing nation. Due to its cheap and abundant labor, it was an attractive place to build and produce various products, i.e. “made in China”. Soon, their shrewd business (and political) leaders began to take advantage of their situation by demanding that companies share their plans and plans with China. This means that as one Chinese manufacturer produced your product, a new Chinese company quickly emerged with an identical high quality counterfeit.

Then China got into industrial espionage by infiltrating US universities on research tours, then copying and stealing the research. From stolen research, China has become an aggressive innovator in its own right. Not only did the plan work, but to protect itself, China established its own patent process that rivals the United States and exposes many loopholes in our own system.

“…an imminent threat that could not only supplant the United States…[but] represent a fundamental global economic change.”

The documentary is split into two tracks. One is how the United States has naturally lent itself to innovation ideas and how low the barriers are to not only creating a better mousetrap, but to personally benefiting from it. Race for innovation provides an informative overview of our patent process and highlights weaknesses and gaps in the process.

The second path serves as a warning that American dominance in innovation is under threat from China and the underhanded tactics that have brought them to this point. It’s clear that if we keep closing our eyes, it’s over. OK. A bit hyperbolic, but this story can be quite chilling for any political junkie. Is it all true? Livingston is not short of credible witnesses.

Race for innovation interviews more than two dozen experts on innovation and U.S.-China relations, with the likes of Democratic Delaware Senator Chris Coons and Republican Representative from Kentucky Thomas Massie for a bit of bipartisanship. Other notables include Brig. General Robert Spalding, patent lawyer, and Judge Paul Michael, author of The Great US-China. Tech War Gordon Chang and many inventors have had their ideas and intellectual property stolen over the years.

Race for innovation is a bit of a political doc. The film strives to reach both sides of the aisle while presenting facts about China and its global aspirations. Yes, maybe the US has been too lax after dominating innovation for so long. There is a danger that China will let us down, and we will not see it coming. Now the question is not just determining our next step, but whether we are still committed to excellence and innovation.

For more information on screening, visit Race for innovation official site.

Previous Volunteer! Supine Horizons, Karyn Olivier talks about the future of public art, Syd Carpenter on PBS, plus opportunities
Next Bob Marley and the Wailers live at the Apollo Theatre, Harlem in 1979 (full concert audio)