From our perspective two important elements are at play. First, governments, relatively recent, failure to invest directly in innovation at the necessary scale. Also, failure to capitalise on behalf of the tax payer when benefits of research transfer to the private sector. Second, the relative ease and scope for breakthrough, indoor plumbing and electricity were relatively easy, but also monopoly power and market consolidation leading to a lack of reinvestment for R&D on behalf of many multinationals.
Below from the News Hour.