You want to lead the world in creating new innovations. The problem isn't that the economics of turning innovations into products aren't working out and so people aren't doing the innovation or they aren't doing it here. The problem is on the demand side and not the supply side.
I'd amend the above to say "The problem isn't only that..." Just my feeling. There's a problem on the supply side in the sense that many engineers are locked down in ways that prevent or discourage them from contributing.
You mention the options thing, and I agree with that. Another biggie for me is that I think the invention agreements I signed with my employer minimize my incentive to create new innovations. The possibility that they will fall under one of the provisions of that document and be summarily claimed by the employer makes me want to avoid interesting projects and conversations. That both reduces my value as an innovator and reduces my capacity to grow and expand my knowledge and my network.
Ultimately, that means I'm a cog and not a cog-designer, and it damages the competitiveness of the country.
RE: Rising Above The Gathering Storm