By Miles Moore, Senior Washington Reporter
MIDLAND, Mich. (June 2, 2015) — The U.S. must encourage invention, innovation and entrepreneurship if the country is to maintain its position as the world's economic leader.
That's the message delivered recently by Timothy G. Nash of Northwood University, a top administrator and economics professor.
Mr. Nash said he was spurred to choose this theme for the May edition of the Northwood University Monthly Economic Outlook after hearing a speech by Carly Fiorina, former CEO of Hewlett-Packard Co. and current Republican presidential candidate, at the annual Michigan Chamber of Commerce dinner.
Ms. Fiorina's speech led Mr. Nash and his friends into an after-dinner discussion of the concepts of innovation and invention, he said, noting that too often today, people miss the important distinction between the two.
“Invention is the creation of a good, service or process that is new and unique,” Mr. Nash said. “For all practical purposes, it exists for the first time.
“Innovation happens when someone improves upon or makes significantly better something that has already been invented,” he said. “Lastly, an entrepreneur is a person who owns, organizes, manages, leads and assumes the risks and rewards of a business.”
Therefore, Mr. Nash continued, “the economic game-changer is an invention in the hands of the entrepreneur who successfully brings it to market.