The paper, “Localizing the Economic Impact of Research and Development: Policy Proposals for the Trump Administration and Congress,” argues that supporting innovation around the country should be a top focus for the incoming administration and new Congress.
“America leads the world in supporting scientific research, but we are not capturing enough of the benefits from that in the form of new companies and products,” said paper co-author and ITIF Vice President of Global Innovation Policy Stephen Ezell.
“The federal government needs to take a much more active role to help move innovative new ideas out of the lab and into the economy,” Ezell said. “If America’s innovation economy is to function at its peak, policymakers need to put in place smart policies that effectively work in concert at the city, regional, state, and national levels.”
“From the Department of Defense to the National Institutes of Health, the federal government can and should better align its research dollars with local assets,” said paper co-author and Brookings Bass Initiative Associate Fellow Scott Andes. “Doing so would not only boost the national and regional economies, but also improve the outcomes of the U.S. government’s defense, health, energy, and other research aims.”
The paper’s recommendations range from prioritizing innovation districts in federal R&D outlays to implementing federal innovation vouchers to connect small firms with research institutions.
Its 50 policy actions align with five major policy imperatives:
- Strengthen innovation districts and regional technology clusters;
- Bolster institutions supporting tech transfer, commercialization, and innovation;
- Expand technology transfer and commercialization-related programs and investments;
- Promote high-growth, tech-based entrepreneurship; and
- Stimulate private-sector innovation.
While the recommendations are directed at the federal government, many of the actions could also be pursued by states and should be better understood and advocated for by localities.
The full list of policy actions is described in detail here.
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.