Building an Innovation-Based Economy

Smartphone user

In a paper released in conjunction with a panel discussion, Darrell West, Allan Friedman and Walter Valdivia identify promising policy ideas to encourage entrepreneurship and innovative growth in the technology industry. 

The policy recommendations draw on the expertise and recommendations gathered from a June 2012 workshop, organized by the Center for Technology Innovation at the Brookings Institution, as well as feedback from online crowd-sourcing.

Highlights include:

• We need better metrics for measuring worker productivity in the 21st century economy. Past approaches based on worker hours or total employees in relation to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) ignore the transformational nature of digital technology.

• We should encourage entrepreneurship by expanding Small Business Administration credit for start ups, adding entrepreneurial skills to school curricula, and making changes in immigration policy that encourage entrepreneurs to come to America.

• We need governments that learn to innovate and collaborate, and develop new approaches to service delivery, transparency, and participation. This includes placing more data online and employing data analytical tools, social media, mobile technology, and search results that improve decision-making.

• We should strengthen infrastructure by investing in broadband, data centers, and mobile cell towers, and improving access to spectrum for wireless applications.

• We should protect vital digital assets by updating the Federal Information Security Management Act and developing procedures for monitoring threats to critical infrastructure.

• We need to improve knowledge transmission through faster adoption of digital textbooks, more widespread use of creative commons licenses for instructional materials developed with taxpayer dollars, and policy changes that speed education innovation.

• We need to increase technology transfer and the commercialization of knowledge from universities and federal laboratories so that public and private investments translate into jobs and economic activity as well as better health, security, and well-being.

• We should harmonize cross-border laws to promote global innovation and freedom of expression.

Download Paper » (PDF)