Engineering 101

Google Billionaire Warns China Gaining Technology Edge

Eric Schmidt has some recommendations for Washington regarding its policies. The former Google CEO is encouraging US politicians to counter China’s rising technological ambitions by ramping up regulatory scrutiny, encouraging more private investment, and offering tax credits to train workers.

China surprised the US on such critical technologies as wireless 5G, microelectronics, and AI. China now dominates markets for drones, high-capacity batteries, essential minerals, solar panels, turbines, and shipbuilding.

In a recent report, Schmidt calls on the US government to boost microelectronic production with the help of a large fund to unlock private capital, create an open-source security center to assist investments in digital infrastructure, create a national security commission on digital finance, and give regulators more power to screen investment flows to China that could threaten US national security.

The 75-page SCSP report calls on the government to create an independent development bank to provide “patient capital” to help “de-risk” private investment in deep tech and increase the H-1B visa cap to help plug the estimated 90,000-worker talent gap in microelectronics.

Gilman Louie, CEO and co-founder of America’s Frontier Fund, points out advances under a Made in China 2025 strategy, with its timelines and clear standards—that made it obvious “America didn’t have a business plan.”

 

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