SOURCE: Waggener Edstrom Worldwide

April 20, 2009 08:00 ET

America Emerges as the Innovation Leader in Latest Investors in Innovation Survey

Despite Recession, Alternative Energy and Technology Still Expected to Produce the Most Economically Stimulative Innovations

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - April 20, 2009) - Global public relations agency Waggener Edstrom Worldwide (WE) today released the results of its second Investors in Innovation survey. Based on 130 responses from a global sample of money managers and analysts, the survey revealed the financial community's perceptions of key innovation and business issues facing capital markets and corporate decision-makers.

"Despite recent speculation about the decline of American innovation and the country's global competitiveness, respondents clearly see the U.S. as the most likely country of the seven countries included in the survey to produce the next major wave of economically stimulative innovations," said Lev Janashvili, WE vice president, Financial Communications, and lead author of the survey. "It is also noteworthy that 62 percent of respondents expect the current recession to end in 2010."

Key Findings on Innovation

--  America emerges as the innovation leader. Seventy-four percent of
    respondents rate America's innovation potential as strong or very strong,
    the highest rating among the seven countries included in the survey.
    
--  Alternative energy and technology are expected to drive innovation.
    Eighty-two percent of respondents rated the innovation potential of the
    technology sector as strong or very strong. Seventy-nine percent of
    respondents assigned the same ratings to alternative energy.
    
--  The Obama administration received its highest ratings (58 percent
    positive) for "facilitating the broader adoption and development of clean
    energy technologies." Obama gets his lowest ratings for his efforts to
    stabilize the banking system.
    
--  Innovation ranks as the third most important nonfinancial variable
    affecting investment decisions, behind management credibility and
    transparency.
    

Key Findings on Business Issues

--  Measures of management effectiveness (e.g., ROIC and ROE) received
    highest importance ratings among financial variables that affect investment
    decisions.
    
--  Respondents rated management credibility as the most important
    nonfinancial variable affecting investment decisions, followed by
    transparency, innovation and corporate governance.
    
--  Sixty percent of respondents favor restrictions on short selling.
    
--  Survey responses reveal marked reticence about the new Securities and
    Exchange Commission Chairman Mary Schapiro. Only 22 percent of the
    respondents could say whether they held a favorable or unfavorable view of
    the new chief securities regulator.
    
--  Fifty-nine percent of respondents favor mark-to-market accounting
    rules over mark-to-model methods.
    
--  Respondents overwhelmingly expect oil and gas prices to stabilize or
    increase in 2009, and certainly in the long run.
    

Janashvili continued: "With regard to the relatively poor ratings of the Obama administration's efforts to stabilize the banking system, we should note that these responses diverge measurably from consumer perceptions. In a nationwide U.S. consumer poll conducted by WE and RT Strategies in March, 67 percent of the respondents expressed favorable views of President Obama's efforts to address the current financial crisis."

He added, "The support for mark-to-market rules and for restrictions on short selling is interesting in that it seems to reveal a tension between two conflicting motives: 1) aligning corporate valuations with economic reality and 2) providing a near-term boost to the market."

The Investors in Innovation surveys are designed to identify and prioritize the issues and perceptions that shape the thinking of senior decision-makers in the corporate and investment communities. Based on surveys of key stakeholders across innovation-driven industries, these reports combine the findings of financial community surveys, in-depth interviews with industry thought leaders and WE's proprietary analysis of industry-focused media coverage.

About Waggener Edstrom Worldwide

Waggener Edstrom Worldwide (WE) is a global, integrated communications agency. For more than 25 years, the independently owned firm has developed strategic communications programs for innovative and world-changing clients, working to influence markets, inspire people and improve lives. In 2009, WE was named one of Oregon Business' 100 Best Companies to Work For. WE was also named European Technology Agency of the Year in 2008 and Best Large Agency to Work For by the Holmes Report in 2006. WE has earned numerous honors for its outstanding work on behalf of clients, for its exceptional people and for its innovation in communications. The agency has more than 800 employees in 16 offices around the world, and its Global Alliance program expands the agency's reach to 13 additional international markets. WE offers six global practices: Consumer Marketing, Corporate Communications, Environment, Healthcare, Public Affairs and Technology. More information can be found at http://www.WaggenerEdstrom.com.

Waggener Edstrom and Innovation Communications are either registered service marks or service marks of Waggener Edstrom Worldwide Inc. in the United States and/or other countries. The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

Contact Information

  • To receive the Investors in Innovation report, please contact:
    Jennifer Casey
    (503) 443-7229
    Email Contact