I remember how surprised I was to find out, in a Design Policy class (2002), that America was the only industrialized nation without a government led, formal institution or stated policy around design. Other countries like Japan and China had very formal approaches to ensuring that their national resources were all directed at addressing the opportunities that technological innovation would offer, by crafting policy that included refocusing its entire educational system K thru University.
The report sighted below presents a case for a government led initiative for America.
"In the last decade, an increasing number of economists have come to conclude that innovation—the creation and adoption of new products, services and business models—is the key to improved standards of living. The United States has led the world in innovation since World War II, and it continues to have many strengths, including entrepreneurial culture and expertise, a strong science base, healthy technology companies, protection of intellectual property, robust financial markets, relatively good working relationships between business and universities, and leadership in constructing and managing complex technology-based processes and organizations."
Industry Week Article
The Information Technology and Innovation Report
Obama's Technology Policy View
UK's Design Council Strategic Plan