Information Technology and Innovation Foundation

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Information Technology and Innovation Foundation
FormationMarch 2006; 18 years ago (2006-03)[1]
TypePublic Policy Think Tank
Vic Fazio, Philip English
Robert D. Atkinson
Revenue (2015)
Expenses (2015)$3,337,382[2]

The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) is a U.S. nonprofit public policy think tank based in Washington, D.C., focused on public policy surrounding industry and technology.[3] As of 2019, the University of Pennsylvania ranks ITIF as the most authoritative science and technology policy think tank in the world.[4] In its role in developing industrial and technological policies, ITIF has attracted controversy for its affiliations with various technology companies.[5][6]


ITIF's stated mission is to promote new ways of thinking about technology-driven productivity, competitiveness and globalization.[7] 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."[8] Ars Technica has described ITIF as "one of the leading, and most prolific, tech policy think tanks."[9]

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.[10][11] 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.[12][13] They have also criticized the Chinese government for behaviors they label "innovation mercantilism" including standards manipulation and intellectual property theft.[14][15]

In Internet policy, ITIF supported both the PROTECT IP Act (PIPA) and the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) in the U.S. Congress.[16][17] They oppose applying Title II telephone regulations to broadband, arguing that it would stifle Internet innovation, and instead support net neutrality legislation. ITIF has praised both the U.S. and the European Union "open Internet" rulings.[18][19][20] 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.[21][22]

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.[23]


In economic policy, ITIF publishes the State New Economy Index, which measures how much U.S. states’ economies are driven by knowledge and innovation.[24][25] They publish The Atlantic Century, which ranks countries on their competitiveness and innovative capacity.[26][27][28] 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.[29][30]

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.[31]

ITIF has published several reports advocating greater deployment of information technologies, including Digital Prosperity and Digital Quality of Life.[32][33] 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.[34] ITIF's report Steal These Policies: Strategies for Reducing Digital Piracy provided the foundation for the controversial PROTECT IP and Stop Online Piracy Acts in the U.S. Congress, which the think tank acknowledged were at odds with the positions of many of its supporters.[35]

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.[36][37][38]

ITIF previously issued an annual Luddite Award for the "Year’s Worst Innovation Killers".[39]


Referred to as "scrupulously nonpartisan",[40] the think tank was established in 2006 with two former U.S. Representatives, Republican Jennifer Dunn and Democrat Calvin Dooley, as co-chairs.[41] Republican Philip English and Democrat Vic Fazio, former U.S. Representatives, co-chair ITIF. Senators Chris Coons and Todd Young and Representatives Suzan DelBene and Susan W. Brooks serve as honorary co-chairs.[42] Robert D. Atkinson, former vice-president at the Progressive Policy Institute, is president of ITIF.[43] While leading ITIF, he has authored two books: Innovation Economics: The Race for Global Advantage (Yale University Press, 2012),[44] and Big is Beautiful: Debunking the Myth of Small Business (MIT Press, 2018).[45]

Board Members[edit]

As of 2019, the website of the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation listed 22 board members.[46]

Honorary Co-Chairs[edit]

Board Chairs[edit]

Board Members[edit]


ITIF contributors have included the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation,[47] the Atlantic Philanthropies,[48] Cisco,[49] Communications Workers of America,[49] eBay,[49] the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation,[50] Google,[51] IBM,[49] the Information Technology Industry Council,[52] the Nathan Cummings Foundation,[53] and Bernard L. Schwartz.[54] ITIF's research has also been funded by U.S. government agencies such as the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)[55] and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).[56] In 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.[57]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Manufacturing News - Subscribers Only". 2011-10-05. Archived from the original on 2011-10-05. Retrieved 2018-11-10.
  2. ^ a b "Information Technology and Innovation Foundation" (PDF). Foundation Center. Retrieved 23 March 2017.
  3. ^ "White House Proposes Tax Credits for Clean Energy". Christian Science Monitor. December 4, 2009. Retrieved May 31, 2011.
  4. ^ McGann, James G. (2018). 2018 Global Go To Think Tanks Report and Policy Advice. University of Pennsylvania. p. 151.
  5. ^ "Group That Takes Money From Tech Industry Complains That Tech Coverage Is Too Negative". Gizmodo. G/O Media Inc. 23 February 2017. Archived from the original on 26 April 2021. Retrieved 8 June 2021.
  6. ^ "Moderate Democrats Back a Privacy Bill, Minus the Privacy". Revolving Door Project. Center for Economic and Policy Research. 2019-10-23. Archived from the original on 16 January 2021. Retrieved 8 June 2021.
  7. ^ "Mission". Information Technology and Innovation Foundation. Archived from the original on August 21, 2011. Retrieved May 31, 2011.
  8. ^ Cranford, John (April 7, 2011). "Unscientific Method". Roll Call. Retrieved January 23, 2013.
  9. ^ Anderson, Nate (February 4, 2009). "Ars Technica's Tech Policy "People to Watch" 2009". Ars Technica. Retrieved January 23, 2013.
  10. ^ Uchitelle, Louis (November 28, 2011). "Why Aren't the Jobless Flocking to Zuccotti Park?". The Nation.
  11. ^ Ezell, Stephen J.; Atkinson, Robert D. (2011). The Case for a National Manufacturing Strategy (PDF). Washington, DC: ITIF.
  12. ^ Whoriskey, Peter (March 19, 2012). "Economists Offer More Pessimistic View on Manufacturing in Upcoming Report". The Washington Post. Retrieved October 30, 2012.
  13. ^ Atkinson, Robert D.; Stewart, Luke A.; Andes, Scott M.; Ezell, Stephen J. (2012). Worse Than the Great Depression: What Experts Are Missing About American Manufacturing Decline (PDF). Washington, DC: ITIF. Retrieved October 30, 2012.
  14. ^ Atkinson, Robert D. (2012). Enough is Enough: Confronting Chinese Innovation Mercantilism (PDF). Washington, DC: ITIF.
  15. ^ "June 2011 VCAT Meeting Minutes". NIST. National Institute of Standards and Technology. 3 October 2011. Retrieved December 3, 2011.
  16. ^ Castro, Daniel (2011-12-05). "PIPA/SOPA: Responding to Critics and Finding a Path Forward". The Information Technology & Innovation Foundation. Retrieved 2012-01-22.
  17. ^ "Debate-over-Internet-piracy-legislation-heats-up". San Francisco Chronicle. 17 January 2012. Retrieved 16 July 2018.
  18. ^ Gross, Grant (June 1, 2006). "Group Adds Alternative to Net 'Tiers'". PC World.
  19. ^ "ITIF Comments on FCC's Net Neutrality Rulemaking" (Press release). ITIF. September 21, 2009.
  20. ^ "Statement by Richard Bennett on European Approach to Net Neutrality" (Press release). ITIF. April 20, 2011.
  21. ^ Castro, Daniel; Bennett, Richard; Andes, Scott (December 2009). Steal These Policies: Strategies for Reducing Digital Piracy (PDF). Washington, DC: ITIF.
  22. ^ Doctorow, Cory (March 16, 2011). "Influential Think-Tanky Tells Congress: Bandwidth Caps Fight Piracy!". Boing Boing.
  23. ^ Atkinson, Robert D.; Shellenberger, Michael; Nordhaus, Ted (2009). Rising Tigers, Sleeping Giant (PDF). Oakland, CA: Breakthrough Institute.
  24. ^ Clifford, Catherine (November 18, 2010). "Massachusetts Gets the New Economy Best". Retrieved May 31, 2011.
  25. ^ Atkinson, Robert D.; Stewart, Luke A. (December 6, 2012). The 2012 State New Economy Index (PDF). ITIF. Retrieved April 13, 2013.
  26. ^ Lashinsky, Adam (April 26, 2011). "Genachowski: FCC Inherited a "Real Mess" in Net Neutrality". Fortune. Retrieved May 31, 2011.
  27. ^ Hoover, J. Nicholas (July 21, 2009). "Federal CTO Says U.S. Lagging In Innovation". InformationWeek. Retrieved May 31, 2011.
  28. ^ Presenter: Fareed Zakaria (October 8, 2011). "Has America Gone Soft?". Fareed Zakaria GPS. CNN.
  29. ^ Beary, Brian (July 24, 2012). "Portugal Gives Most Tax Breaks for R&D, Study Shows". Europolitics. Brussels. Archived from the original on February 18, 2013. Retrieved November 2, 2012.
  30. ^ 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 (PDF), Washington, DC: ITIF
  31. ^ "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.
  32. ^ Atkinson, Robert D.; McKay, Andrew S. (2007). Digital Prosperity (PDF). Washington, DC: ITIF.
  33. ^ Atkinson, Robert D.; Castro, Daniel D. (2008). Digital Quality of Life (PDF). Washington, DC: ITIF.
  34. ^ Vanden Plas, Joe (March 22, 2007). "Study affirms information technology-productivity link". WTN News. Retrieved July 19, 2010.
  35. ^ Lochhead, Carolyn (January 17, 2012). "Debate over Internet Piracy Legislation Heats Up". San Francisco Chronicle.
  36. ^ 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.
  37. ^ Rosenbush, Steve (August 6, 2013). "Cloud Industry Could Lose Billions on NSA Disclosures". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved August 8, 2013.
  38. ^ Yaron, Oded (August 8, 2013). "Study: NSA leaks could cost U.S. $22-35 billion". Haaretz. Retrieved August 8, 2013.
  39. ^ "The Worst of the Year's Worst Innovation Killers". Information Technology and Innovation Foundation. 21 December 2015. Retrieved 16 July 2018.
  40. ^ Mandelbaum, Robb (August 26, 2008). "Does It Matter That One Candidate is Comfortable Using Technology and One Isn't?". Inc. Retrieved January 23, 2013.
  41. ^ "New DC Think Tank Will Think About Innovation". Manufacturing & Technology News. April 4, 2006. Retrieved May 31, 2011.
  42. ^ "Board". Information Technology and Innovation Foundation. Retrieved November 6, 2015.
  43. ^ "Staff". Information Technology and Innovation Foundation. Archived from the original on November 6, 2012. Retrieved November 1, 2012.
  44. ^ Retrieved 2019-10-11. {{cite web}}: Missing or empty |title= (help)
  45. ^ Big Is Beautiful. MIT Press. 30 March 2018. ISBN 9780262037709. Retrieved 2019-10-11.
  46. ^ a b c "Board". Information Technology and Innovation Foundation. Retrieved 10 October 2019.
  47. ^ "2007 Annual Report" (PDF). Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. p. 32. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-05-24. Retrieved 2011-12-28.
  48. ^ "Public-Private Partnership Fellowship". Atlantic Philanthropies. Retrieved November 1, 2012.
  49. ^ a b c d Lohr, Steve (March 13, 2007). "Computers Raise Productivity, but Not Job Rolls, Study Finds". The New York Times. Retrieved November 1, 2012.
  50. ^ Atkinson, Robert D.; Andes, Scott (2010). The 2010 State New Economy Index (PDF). Kansas City, MO: Kauffman Foundation. p. i.
  51. ^ "Transparency". Retrieved November 1, 2012.
  52. ^ "Big IT Takes Step To Influence Tech Policy In U.S." InformationWeek. March 29, 2006. Retrieved November 1, 2012.
  53. ^ "2010 Annual Report" (PDF). Nathan Cummings Foundation. p. 20. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-04-12. Retrieved 2011-12-28.
  54. ^ "Biography". Bernard L. Schwartz: The Official Site and Resource. August 2011. Archived from the original on November 9, 2012. Retrieved November 1, 2012.
  55. ^ Ezell, Stephen J.; Atkinson, Robert D. (September 2011). International Benchmarking of Countries' Policies and Programs Supporting SME Manufacturers (PDF). Washington, DC: ITIF. p. 2.
  56. ^ Innovation, Trade, and Technology Policies in AsiaPacific Economies: A Scorecard (PDF). Washington, DC: ITIF. November 2011. p. ii.
  57. ^ "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.

External links[edit]