When it comes to innovation, U.S. businesses are increasingly collaborating with the public sector to better cope with global competition and complex new technology, the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation reported this week.

According to a new study, technology is moving beyond the internal research and development capabilities of most private firms, the Washington D.C.-based nonprofit think tank said. As a result, roughly two thirds of the nation's recent award-winning innovations involved some sort of private-public collaboration.

In 2004 alone, the Small Business Innovation Research Program, one of the federal government's largest R&D funding programs, awarded more than $2 billion to some 6,000 different projects.

The study called for government-backed technology initiatives to be expanded and made more secure.