In the U.S., government needs to fix the public educational system first. That will resolve many innovator's problems. However, foreign governments are helping innovators more directly, and that will put pressure on the U.S. government to do more.
BusinessWeek: Innovate Out of the Economic Downturn.2008-Oct-27, by Sami Mahroum
In the short term, governments need to provide support to small companies to help them manage the crisis and continue to develop their portfolios of products and services. The British Innovation Advisory Services model, where government-supported consultants are paid for and loaned to companies, is one example of the type of thing that governments can do. Another is the Dutch voucher system, under which the government gives vouchers to small companies, allowing them to source the expertise (mostly consultants) they need from public research institutes. Some 80% of such voucher-supported projects otherwise would not have been undertaken. This type of support is critical to help many small, successful companies get through the crisis.