From vaccines and therapeutics to delivery robots, intellectual property has played an indispensable role in facilitating development of a range of inventive products that have helped address health care, work, and social challenges brought on by the pandemic.
The Biden administration needs to renew America’s role as a power trader, but with a new focus of maintaining its relative lead, economically and technologically, over China. It will require changes in the strategy and organization of U.S. trade policy.
As other nations rapidly scale up their investments to develop and use quantum computing, U.S. policymakers should ensure the United States remains a leader. Investing in near-term applications would bolster the development of longer-term use cases, thereby helping to cement U.S. economic competitiveness and protect national security.
Chinese high-speed rail firm CRRC is less innovative than European and Japanese firms, but mercantilist policies help it dominate in China and expand globally. This starves superior firms of revenue, reduces their R&D, and slows the pace of global innovation.
Blood-based multi-cancer early detection (MCED) technologies hold the promise to revolutionize America’s cancer-screening paradigm, dramatically expanding the range of detectable cancers and identifying them at earlier stages when cancers are more treatable. Policymakers should provide a supportive regulatory and coverage environment.
As technology and industry strategy experts, we commend Congress and the Biden administration for focusing on ensuring U.S. advanced technology competitiveness. Toward that end, we offer a number of recommendations for further action.
As America seeks to counter a rising China, no nation is more important than India, with its vast size, abundance of highly skilled technical professionals, and strong political and cultural ties with the United States. But the parallels between America’s dependency on China for manufacturing and its dependency on India for IT services are striking.
The United States continues its relative fall in university research and development funding. To become the leader among OECD nations in government funding for university research as a share of GDP, investment would have to increase by $90 billion per year.
Low profit margins keep many small businesses from investing in productivity-enhancing technology, which in turn holds down wages. To break that cycle, there should be a federal program that helps them reap economies of scale and scope by collaborating in areas such as R&D, investment, marketing, and health insurance purchases.
Affordable long-duration energy storage will be needed to decarbonize the U.S. energy system. Flow batteries are promising, but for that promise to be realized, DOE must invest heavily and more effectively in research, development, testing, and demonstration.
The Biden administration has a rare opportunity to accelerate agricultural innovation and spur broad and lasting economic growth by taking a handful of discrete regulatory actions that would update longstanding policy that has enjoyed strong bipartisan support.
With the rise of China, the U.S. economic and technology environment has fundamentally and inexorably changed. America needs an advanced technology industrial policy to compete effectively—but that will require modernizing hidebound economic thinking that has long considered “industry policy” to be anathema.
Transatlantic data flows are essential to organizations of all sizes and industries—not just large technology firms. The EU and United States must establish clear, consistent legal mechanisms for data transfers so both sides can thrive in an increasingly digital global economy.
Nearly one in five rural Americans still lack access to broadband Internet service. Federal subsidies could bridge that gap if they are carefully targeted through a reverse-auction program that leverages economies of scale by encouraging large providers to participate.
If the United States is to stay ahead of China militarily and technologically, it will need to put in place a new national innovation system that focuses on making U.S. advanced technology leadership—in both innovation and production—the central organizing principle of U.S. economic and national security policy.
To advance their goals of economic redistribution, progressives—relying on faulty research, half-truths, and erroneous claims—have delegitimized the long-accepted “consumer welfare” approach to antitrust and generated a groundswell of support for a new “public interest” standard that seeks to protect competitors, especially small businesses.
The Biden administration’s infrastructure package should include $5 billion over five years in cost-shared demonstration projects that seek to drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions from heavy industries such as steel, cement, and chemicals.
AR/VR devices create novel issues for user privacy due to the scope, scale, and sensitivity of the information they collect. To mitigate harms, policymakers should reform the current patchwork regulatory landscape for data privacy, which fails to address some risks while over-regulating in response to others.
While brand sellers, online marketplaces, and law enforcement agencies all share an interest in stopping counterfeits, their efforts to detect and prevent their sale remain siloed and uncoordinated.
AI promises to help cities save money, address infrastructure needs, and reduce emissions. But to unlock these benefits and help smart cities reach their full potential, the federal government has an important role to play in funding RD&D and facilitating cooperation.
In a comprehensive analysis, ITIF concludes any reform to Section 230 should preserve the fundamental principle that liability for content should reside with the content creator while also ensuring online platforms are held responsible for their own conduct.
This 12-episode podcast series asks what will happen if policymakers keep or repeal the law credited with creating the Internet and explores the opportunities for Congress to make the law even better.
China’s mercantilist strategy to grab market share in the global semiconductor industry is fueling the rise of inferior innovators at the expense of superior firms in the United States and other market-led economies. That siphons away resources that would otherwise be invested in the virtuous cycle of cutting-edge R&D that has driven semiconductor innovation for decades.
Congress should pass Postal Service reform legislation that focuses on two key things: freeing up USPS to make the kinds of reforms it needs to reduce costs, and establishing a Technology Innovation Fund to enable robotic last-mile postal delivery.
Broadband affordability is a problem for some Americans, but not the “crisis” advocates claim. U.S. broadband prices are comparable with those charged abroad and by municipal networks. To ensure affordability for everyone, we need a better subsidy program, not changes to industry structure.
There is a growing sense something is amiss with the U.S. innovation system. It’s time for a vigorous initiative to restore belief in innovation’s potential as a force for social and economic progress, for the benefit of America and the world.
The United States still holds a substantial overall lead in AI, but China has continued to reduce the gap in some important areas and the EU continues to fall behind.
For America to remain the global leader in IT, the U.S. government must formulate a grand strategy grounded in a new doctrine of “digital realpolitik.” The first priority should be advancing U.S. interests by spreading the U.S. digital innovation policy system and constraining digital adversaries, especially China. This will entail working with allies when possible—and pressuring them when necessary.
If Washington wants to show voters that government is doing something more than simply saying no or being ideologically dug in, then lawmakers and the administration should work to advance a set of actionable technology policy measures that would grow the U.S. economy.
Understanding how Germany manipulated the global trading system to degrade its adversaries’ capabilities, entrap nations as reluctant allies, and build up its own industries for commercial and military advantage—just as China is doing—can shed light and point the way for solutions to the China challenge.
When it comes to federal investment in science, the free-marketers’ argument that the private sector can and will do most of the heavy lifting and that government can let federal support for R&D stagnate or even shrink is mistaken.
The next production revolution will be a boon for a global economy that is sputtering and experiencing lagging growth and investment. This new technology wave should lead to a virtuous cycle of increased investment, higher productivity, more spending, and more investment.
Policies that support renewable energy technologies also drive innovation in complementary technologies for energy storage, grid efficiency, and fast-ramping combustion. Public R&D funding has the most consistent impact and should be increased.
Antitrust advocates allege market-leading “superstar” firms—particularly in digital industries—succeed through anticompetitive conduct. But evidence shows they outperform competitors by investing in innovative technologies and global operations that create more value.