ITIF, the leading U.S. science and tech policy think tank, urges policymakers to invest in the building blocks of innovation — such as R&D and tech-enabled “smart” infrastructure — because they can serve as the foundation of a more robust economy in the long run.
“Just as physical infrastructure undergirded the U.S. economy in the industrial era, scientific and technological innovation is an essential building block for sustained growth now and as we look to the future,” said ITIF President Robert D. Atkinson.
“The U.S. economy is saddled with stagnant productivity and chronic underinvestment, which are slowing growth and preventing us from raising people’s living standards,” Atkinson said.
The new report, authored by Peter Singer, a policy advisor at the MIT Washington Office, argues that traditional infrastructure spending can stimulate short-term job growth, but it won’t address the lack of investment that is holding back sustainable, long-term growth.
To address the structural issues of lagging productivity and underinvestment, Singer urges policymakers to invest in:
- Research funding;
- Advanced-technology development;
- Research infrastructure;
- “Smart infrastructure”;
- Pre-competitive cooperative advanced-manufacturing research institutes.
Singer explains that this will support the kind of innovation needed to get the economy back in high gear for the future.
“President-elect Trump’s campaign focused on getting the United States out of its low-growth rut,” concluded Atkinson. “We hope his infrastructure plan will look beyond easy, short-term answers and also instead invest in what the country needs to have sustainable growth that improves living standards across the board.”
The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) is an independent, nonpartisan research and educational institute focusing on the intersection of technological innovation and public policy.
Recognized as one of the world’s leading science and technology think tanks, ITIF’s mission is to formulate and promote policy solutions that accelerate innovation and boost productivity to spur growth, opportunity, and progress.