News Releases

New Technology Policy Think Tank Launched

—Created in Partnership with the Information Technology Industry Council, New Non-Profit Organization Will Be Led by Two Former Members of Congress and an Experienced Tech Policy Leader—

WASHINGTON, D.C. – March 27, 2006 – Recognizing the increasingly central role of technology in ensuring American prosperity, a new public policy think tank focusing exclusively on innovation, productivity, and digital economy issues was announced today. The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF), which is being co-chaired by former Members of Congress Jennifer Dunn and Calvin Dooley, was created in partnership with the Information Technology Industry Council (ITI).

By providing expert analysis and broad-based education on technology issues, ITIF will address an important need in policy making. The organization’s mission is to advance public policies that boost innovation, e-transformation and productivity. Working at all levels of government, ITIF will publish policy reports, hold debates, advise decision makers and be an active media resource. The Foundation will also develop proposals to advance innovation, analyze existing policy issues and work to change policies and proposals that hinder innovation.

“Tech issues have long enjoyed bipartisan support, but their importance and impact on the U.S. economy have not always been well understood,” said Ms. Dunn. “ITIF will work to educate decision makers and advance policies that raise standards of living and boost American competitiveness.”

Mr. Dooley commented, “ITIF will fill a gap in the tech policy debate. With so many important technology issues being debated at the state and federal level, there is a real need for an independent and thoughtful voice. Our goal is to approach technology policy debates with reasoned and expert analysis that supports long-term innovation.”

Policies that boost innovation and encourage the “digitization” of the economy are important for ensuring robust economic growth and a rising standard of living. Because the development of technology policy is still relatively new, decision makers at all levels of government have varied awareness of what is needed and what will work. ITIF will help fill this gap by educating decision makers and the media and pursuing informed debate around vital tech policy issues.

Several members of Congress commented on the creation of ITIF. U.S. Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT), a longtime leader on technology issues, said, “We cannot assume that innovation and productivity growth will just continue to happen, and I’m heartened that Rob Atkinson is now leading a think tank dedicated to these crucial issues. Any solution to our enormous entitlement problem will include boosting productivity growth, and I suspect that many of the ideas on how to achieve this will eventually come from ITIF.”

U.S. Senator Joseph Lieberman (D-CT), also a longtime leader on innovation policy issues, commented, “I am pleased to welcome the new Information Technology and Innovation Foundation as part of the important national effort underway to assure the future economic competitiveness of America. There has been significant cooperation between those of us in Congress working on this issue and the many organizations in the non-profit arena who share this concern. We welcome the ITIF’s contributions to this effort.”

U.S. Representative Fred Upton (R-MI) said, “The information technology revolution remains the key driver of prosperity and growth. I am pleased that ITIF has been launched to help develop the kinds of ideas and policy proposals that will ensure America remains the global technology leader.”

U.S. Representative Adam Smith (D-WA) commented, “I am excited about the ideas and hard work that the new Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) can bring to the public policy debate on innovation. Innovation and technology are keys to job growth and prosperity in this country. I am pleased that the ITIF will advance and develop new and creative policy proposals to encourage job growth and help America maintain its lead in the global marketplace.”

Dr. Robert D. Atkinson, who was vice president of the Progressive Policy Institute (PPI) from 1998 to 2006, will serve as ITIF President. As director of PPI’s Technology and New Economy Project, executive director of the Rhode Island Economic Policy Council and project director of the Congressional Office of Technology Assessment, he has conducted ground-breaking technology research, advised policy makers, and written and spoken extensively on tech issues. He is the author of The Past and Future of America’s Economy: Long Waves of Innovation that Power Cycles of Growth (Edward Elgar: 2005).

Ms. Dunn is senior policy advisor at the Washington law firm of DLA Piper, Rudnick, Gray and Cary LLP. From 1993 to 2005, she was a Republican Member of Congress from Washington. Mr. Dooley is president and CEO of the Food Products Association, the principal scientific trade association representing the U.S. food processing industry. From 1991-2005, he was a Democratic member of Congress from California. Both Ms. Dunn and Mr. Dooley bring considerable experience and background in technology policy issues.


Through its research, policies proposals, and commentary, The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation is working to advance and support public policies that boost innovation, e-transformation and productivity. For additional information, Web users may access ITIF at http://www.innovationpolicy.org or by contacting Dr. Atkinson at (202) 626-5732 or ratkinson@innovationpolicy.org

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