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Innovation is key, Vest tells Bush panel

"Innovation - and all the issues and challenges surrounding it - must become a first-tier economic policy imperative for our nation," MIT President Charles M. Vest told President George Bush's economic forum in Waco, Texas.

"This need is even more relevant in light of an environment with economic uncertainty and heightened security concerns," said Vest, who was one of four university presidents invited to address the issues of technology and innovation in panel discussions at the Baylor University forum on Aug. 13.

"America in the 21st Century must succeed by brainpower, not by geographic location, inexpensive labor or natural resources," Vest said.

"We are in the age of the knowledge economy, and innovation is both the key to our future and our competitive advantage on the world stage. We must recognize this and foster the combination of science, technology, education and a free economy that makes it possible."

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