FRAMINGHAM (11/03/2003) - The U.S. government and private industries need to encourage business innovation because the nation is in danger of losing its edge in technology and in other industries, IBM Corp. Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Sam Palmisano said last week. Palmisano announced a 12- to 18-month "National Innovation Initiative" through the Council on Competitiveness to study how the U.S. can continue to be a world leader in innovative technologies and other industries. He spoke during the council's annual meeting in Washington, D.C. While the U.S. has been "the envy of the world" for its past innovations, the nation needs a consensus on how to continue to encourage business innovation, he said. "If we're not careful, the [U.S.] will fall out of step with the new realities of innovation," Palmisano said. "If that happened, innovators will go someplace else. We need to crank up the energy, crank up the focus of innovation across many sectors of our economy."