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Top Ten Tech Policy Principles to Promote Innovation

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TPI Releases Policy Recommendations for the next Administration

December 15, 2016 – The Technology Policy Institute today released ten policy recommendations to the Trump administration intended to promote innovation and continued U.S. leadership in the technology sector. The principles offered by Scott Wallsten, TPI President and Senior Fellow, and Thomas Lenard, Senior Fellow and President Emeritus, highlight the significance of investment in research and development, stress the global nature of innovation, suggest ways to encourage innovation in ICT, recommend continuous evaluation of government programs, and outline the importance of incentives in cybersecurity and intellectual property policy.

The policy suggestions are:

  1. Enable the free movement of workers, investment capital, and information across borders to help ensure that resources are used efficiently. This will spur technological progress because innovation is a global phenomenon.
  2. Maintain U.S. technological leadership by providing sufficient resources for our research institutions, including universities, national laboratories, NIH, NSF, and corporations. Focus public R&D spending on areas the private sector is least likely to fund—fundamental or basic research is more likely to fall into this category than is research aimed at commercialization.
  3. Evaluate programs rigorously to determine whether they are achieving their intended objectives in a cost-effective manner. Integrate evaluation criteria and methods into program design. Do not penalize agencies for finding that a program doesn’t work.
  4. Move away from public utility type regulation of broadband. Use antitrust enforcement based on sound economic analysis to address competition issues in the communications sector.
  5. Allow innovative business models, a defining feature of the Internet economy, including ones based on price and non-price differentiation without requiring regulatory approval.
  6. Streamline processes for making spectrum available, including by moving it from government to non-government control. Allow flexible uses for all spectrum licenses and continue to make them easier to trade. Develop economics-based criteria for allocating spectrum between licensed and unlicensed.
  7. Recognize that 100 percent broadband connectivity is aspirational, but not realistic. Funds intended to boost broadband deployment should be distributed in ways that will generate the largest bang-for-the-buck, such as reverse auctions.
  8. Adopt coherent privacy rules based on cost-benefit analysis and apply them consistently across the economy.
  9. Ensure that incentives are properly aligned for the private sector and government to implement effective cybersecurity procedures.
  10. Ensure that intellectual property rights policies promote innovation and creativity and base reforms on sound data and analysis.

Top Ten Tech Policy Principles to Promote Innovation,” which includes detailed descriptions of the suggestions, is available on the TPI website.

Contact: Amy Smorodin, 202-828-4405, asmorodin@techpolicyinstitute.org

The Technology Policy Institute

The Technology Policy Institute is a non-profit research and educational organization that focuses on the economics of innovation, technological change, and related regulation in the United States and around the world. More information is available at http://www.techpolicyinstitute.org/.