Information Technology and Innovation Foundation
|Motto||Smart Ideas for the Innovation Economy|
|Type||Public Policy Think Tank|
|Vic Fazio, Philip English|
|Robert D. Atkinson|
The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) is a U.S. non-profit public policy think tank based out of Washington, D.C. The organization focuses on public policies that spur technology innovation. Ars Technica has described ITIF as "one of the leading, and most prolific, tech policy think tanks." The University of Pennsylvania rates ITIF the fifth most authoritative science and technology think tank in the world and the third most authoritative in the United States, behind the MIT Science, Technology and Society program and the RAND Corporation.
Referred to as "scrupulously nonpartisan," the think tank was established in 2006 with two former U.S. Representatives, Republican Jennifer Dunn and Democrat Calvin Dooley, as co-chairs. Currently, Republican Philip English and Democrat Vic Fazio, also former U.S. Representatives, co-chair ITIF, while Senators Orrin Hatch and Mark Warner and Representatives Anna Eshoo and Darrell Issa serve as honorary co-chairs. Robert D. Atkinson, former vice-president at the Progressive Policy Institute, is president of ITIF.
ITIF's stated mission is to promote new ways of thinking about technology-driven productivity, competitiveness and globalization. The newspaper Roll Call described ITIF as trying to "navigate the ideological waters to promote government support for innovation in many forms and with a broad range of ideals." ITIF has called for the United States government to implement a national manufacturing strategy to combat job losses and the trade deficit which they attribute to declining international competitiveness. They have argued that the U.S. government's gross domestic product (GDP) statistics suffer from statistical bias and thus overstate U.S. manufacturing output and productivity growth. They have also criticized the Chinese government for behaviors they label "innovation mercantilism" including standards manipulation and intellectual property theft, supporting both PIPA and SOPA Acts. In Internet policy, ITIF opposes stringent net neutrality legislation, arguing that it would stifle Internet innovation, and has praised both the U.S. and the European Union "open Internet" rulings. For similar reasons, they have supported legislation aimed at curtailing Internet piracy, stirring some controversy when they argued that data caps on Internet usage would be an effective anti-piracy tool. Along with the Breakthrough Institute, ITIF has called for increased public funding for clean energy innovation, arguing that the United States is falling behind countries like China, Japan and South Korea.
In economic policy, ITIF publishes the State New Economy Index, which measures how much U.S. states’ economies are driven by knowledge and innovation. They publish The Atlantic Century, which ranks countries on their competitiveness and innovative capacity. ITIF took over publishing the "B-index," which measures the strength of countries' R&D tax incentive systems, from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in 2012. In the life sciences field, ITIF published Leadership in Decline: Assessing U.S. International Competitiveness in Biomedical Research in 2012, which director of the National Institutes of Health and leader of the Human Genome Project Francis S. Collins deemed the "one book" he would require President Barack Obama to read in his second term in office.
ITIF has published several reports advocating greater deployment of information technologies, including Digital Prosperity and Digital Quality of Life. In Digital Prosperity, ITIF found that IT investment delivered three to five times the productivity growth of other types of investments. Commenting on the study, former Dean of Wisconsin School of Business Michael Knetter agreed with the productivity figures, though expressed caution given that some of ITIF's contributors are in the technology industry. ITIF's report Steal These Polices: Strategies for Reducing Digital Piracy provided the foundation for the controversial PROTECT IP and Stop Online Piracy Acts in the United States Congress, which the think tank acknowledged were at odds with the positions of many of its contributors. In 2013, the think tank published a widely cited report which found that the U.S. National Security Agency's PRISM electronic data surveillance program could cost the U.S. economy between $21.5 and $35 billion in lost cloud computing business over three years.
ITIF contributors have included the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the Atlantic Philanthropies, Cisco, Communications Workers of America, eBay, the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, Google, IBM, the Information Technology Industry Council, the Nathan Cummings Foundation, and Bernard L. Schwartz. ITIF's research has also been funded by U.S. government agencies such as the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). In September 2010, ITIF received funding from the U.S. Election Assistance Commission to study means for improving voting accessibility for U.S. military service members who have sustained disabling injuries in combat.
- Battelle Memorial Institute
- Progressive Policy Institute
- RAND Corporation
- List of think tanks in the United States
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- Ezell, Stephen J.; Atkinson, Robert D. (2011). The Case for a National Manufacturing Strategy. Washington, DC: ITIF.
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- Atkinson, Robert D. (2012). Enough is Enough: Confronting Chinese Innovation Mercantilism. Washington, DC: ITIF.
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- Castro, Daniel (2011-12-05). "PIPA/SOPA: Responding to Critics and Finding a Path Forward". The Information Technology & Innovation Foundation. Retrieved 2012-01-22.
- Carolyn Lochhead, (17 January 2012), Debate over Internet piracy legislation heats up: INTERNET Digital police role splitting content creators, tech firms, San Francisco Chronicle
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- "ITIF Comments on FCC's Net Neutrality Rulemaking" (Press release). ITIF. September 21, 2009.
- "Statement by Richard Bennett on European Approach to Net Neutrality" (Press release). ITIF. April 20, 2011.
- Castro, Daniel; Bennett, Richard; Andes, Scott (December 2009). Steal These Policies: Strategies for Reducing Digital Piracy. Washington, DC: ITIF.
- Doctorow, Cory (March 16, 2011). "Influential Think-Tanky Tells Congress: Bandwidth Caps Fight Piracy!". Boing Boing.
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- Beary, Brian (July 24, 2012). "Portugal Gives Most Tax Breaks for R&D, Study Shows". Europolitics (Brussels). Retrieved November 2, 2012.
- Stewart, Luke A.; Warda, Jacek; Atkinson, Robert D. (July 2012), We’re #27!: The United States Lags Far Behind in R&D Tax Incentive Generosity, Washington, DC: ITIF
- "Francis S. Collins: By the Book". The New York Times. July 25, 2013. Archived from the original on August 3, 2013. Retrieved August 8, 2013.
- Atkinson, Robert D.; McKay, Andrew S. (2007). Digital Prosperity. Washington, DC: ITIF.
- Atkinson, Robert D.; Castro, Daniel D. (2008). Digital Quality of Life. Washington, DC: ITIF.
- Vanden Plas, Joe (March 22, 2007). "Study affirms information technology-productivity link". WTN News. Retrieved July 19, 2010.
- Lochhead, Carolyn (January 17, 2012). "Debate over Internet Piracy Legislation Heats Up". San Francisco Chronicle.
- Peterson, Andrea (August 7, 2013). "NSA snooping could cost U.S. tech companies $35 billion over three years". The Washington Post. Retrieved August 8, 2013.
- Rosenbush, Steve (August 6, 2013). "Cloud Industry Could Lose Billions on NSA Disclosures". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved August 8, 2013.
- Yaron, Oded (August 8, 2013). "Study: NSA leaks could cost U.S. $22-35 billion". Haaretz. Retrieved August 8, 2013.
- "2007 Annual Report". Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. p. 32.
- "Public-Private Partnership Fellowship". Atlantic Philanthropies. Retrieved November 1, 2012.
- Lohr, Steve (March 13, 2007). "Computers Raise Productivity, but Not Job Rolls, Study Finds". The New York Times. Retrieved November 1, 2012.
- Atkinson, Robert D.; Andes, Scott (2010). The 2010 State New Economy Index. Kansas City, MO: Kauffman Foundation. p. i.
- "Transparency". Google. Retrieved November 1, 2012.
- "Big IT Takes Step To Influence Tech Policy In U.S.". InformationWeek. March 29, 2006. Retrieved November 1, 2012.
- "2010 Annual Report". Nathan Cummings Foundation. p. 20.
- "Biography". Bernard L. Schwartz: The Official Site and Resource. August 2011. Retrieved November 1, 2012.
- Ezell, Stephen J.; Atkinson, Robert D. (September 2011). International Benchmarking of Countries’ Policies and Programs Supporting SME Manufacturers. Washington, DC: ITIF. p. 2.
- Innovation, Trade, and Technology Policies in AsiaPacific Economies: A Scorecard. Washington, DC: ITIF. November 2011. p. ii.
- "EAC Awards $500,000 to Improve Voting Accessibility for Military Heroes" (Press release). United States Election Assistance Commission. September 23, 2010. Retrieved November 1, 2012.