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ITIF Issue Areas

Clean Energy Innovation

Innovation is central to addressing global climate change while increasing economic growth, boosting international competitiveness, and eliminating energy poverty. ITIF’s Center for Clean Energy Innovation seeks to accelerate the transition of the domestic and global energy systems to affordable low-carbon resources. Areas of focus include:

Climate-Tech Commercialization

Climate-Tech Commercialization:

 Policies to accelerate adoption of clean-energy and emissions-reducing technologies and practices.
Climate-Tech RD&D

Climate-Tech RD&D:

 Public and private investments to invent and improve technologies with the potential to reduce carbon emissions significantly.
Global Clean Energy Innovation

Global Clean Energy Innovation:

 Worldwide efforts and supporting national policies to foster a transition to innovative clean energy resources.

Innovation and Competitiveness

As nations engage in a race for global advantage in innovation, ITIF champions a new policy paradigm that ensures businesses and national economies can compete successfully by spurring public and private investment in foundational areas such as research, skills, and 21st century infrastructure. Our areas of focus include:



 Analysis of the many factors and policies driving national competitiveness, including improving innovation ecosystems and the technical capacity of high-value-added industries.
Defense and National Security

Defense and National Security:

 examining defense innovation issues, including weapons systems, innovation in defense and homeland security agencies, and the role of defense R&D in spurring innovation and competitiveness.
Economic Theory

Economic Theory:

 Assessing the negative impact of conventional neo-Keynesianism and neoclassical economics on the 21st century economy and promoting “Innovation Economics” as a sounder alternative.
Emerging Technologies

Emerging Technologies:

 Analysis of issues surrounding the development and adoption of transformative new technologies—from drones and advanced robotics to 3D printing and digital currencies.
Intellectual Property

Intellectual Property:

 Analysis of how appropriately governed intellectual property protections—including patents, copyright, trademarks, and trade secrets—drive innovation.
Skills and Future of Work

Skills and Future of Work:

 Building skills through science, technology, engineering, and math education; use of technology in schools; higher-education reform; incumbent worker-training policies; and pushing back against neo-Luddite narratives about automation and work.


 Examining current trends and encouraging advanced-industry competitiveness through increased public and private investment.


 Analyzing past, present, and future trends in productivity, and advancing policies to drive robust productivity growth, including through tech-based automation.
Regulation and Antitrust

Regulation and Antitrust:

 How and why governments should craft regulatory policies that stimulate instead of inhibiting innovation and competitiveness—featuring the work of ITIF’s Schumpeter Project, which advances dynamic competition policy in which innovation is a central focus for antitrust enforcement.
Science and R&D

Science and R&D:

 Promoting public and private investment in research and development through public funding for research at national laboratories and universities, tax incentives to encourage business R&D, and policies to spur technology transfer from lab to market.
State and Local

State and Local:

 Assessing state and local technology and innovation policies, and benchmarking progress in the broader transition to the new economy.
Taxes and Budget

Taxes and Budget:

 How tax policy and budgets can boost investment, competitiveness, and economic growth.

IT and Data

As every sector of the global economy and nearly every facet of modern society undergo digital transformation, ITIF advocates for policies that spur not just the development of IT innovations, but more importantly their adoption and use throughout the economy. Focus areas include:



 How to improve people’s access to technology—and how technology can improve access to jobs, education, and the public square, particularly for those with disabilities.
Artificial Intelligence

Artificial Intelligence:

 Issues related to AI, including competitiveness, governance, ethics, development, and adoption.


 How immersive technologies can transform the ways people communicate, work, and learn.


 How governments and the private sector can improve the security and resiliency of computers and networks.
Data Innovation

Data Innovation:

 Issues and trends affecting big data, open data, data analytics, and the Internet of Things.
Digital Government

Digital Government:

 How information technology (IT) can improve delivery of public services.
Health IT

Health IT:

 Use of IT to drive health care innovation, lower costs, and improve the quality of care.


 Issues related to taxation, e-commerce, digital copyright, global Internet governance, and digital currencies.


 Protecting people’s privacy and safeguarding personal information without stifling the innovation and commerce needed to drive a robust Internet ecosystem.
Public Safety

Public Safety:

 How technological advances in areas such as data analytics and high-quality video can enhance national security and emergency response to promote public safety.


 How IT can transform not just our vehicles but our entire transportation infrastructure.

Life Sciences & Agricultural Biotech

Innovation is essential to promoting human health, agricultural productivity, and ecological sustainability. Focus areas include:

Agricultural Biotech

Agricultural Biotech:

 Supporting advances in plant and animal biotechnology to increase agricultural productivity and sustainably boost production of food, feed, and fiber.
Life Sciences

Life Sciences:

 Supporting continued advances in biopharmaceuticals, as well as U.S. competitiveness in the sector.


As the Internet has evolved from an occasional-use resource to a pervasive, always-on broadband ecosystem, the networking technologies underpinning it have developed faster than legal and regulatory frameworks can adjust. This has led to complex policy challenges that must be overcome to ensure that networks of the future can develop to their fullest potential. Focus areas include:



 Advocating policies to accelerate deployment, access, and adoption of high-speed Internet, and encourage continued network innovation.


 Advocating productive spectrum use and analyzing policies and trends related to wireless technology and radio frequency management.

Trade and Globalization

Growing the innovation economy requires tight and deep integration of global markets—but with the critical caveat that this integration must come with strong commitments to openness and robust, market-oriented national competitiveness policies, not protectionist market distortions. Focus areas include:

Developing Economies

Developing Economies:

 Critiquing conventional development models that are more suited to the 20th century than the 21st; analyzing developing nations’ innovation potential; and advocating for the most effective technology and innovation policies.


 Promoting robust trade, especially in innovation-based industries, and curbing the spread of innovation mercantilism in all its forms.
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