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Innovation and Competitiveness

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.
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