In researching Chile’s National ICT Policy I came across the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation. This foundation, with its slogan Smart Ideas for the Innovative Economy, is a non-partisan research and education institute with a mission to formulate and promote public policies to advance technological innovation and productivity internationally, in Washington D.C., and across the United States. For all intents and purposes the ITIF is a “think tank” that focuses on innovation, productivity, and digital economy issues.
Since 2006 this 501(c)3 non-profit based in Washington D.C., has been crafting effective policies that boost innovation and encourage the widespread “digitization” of the economy, steps they believe are critical to ensuring robust economic growth and an improved standard of living. Response had been varied, while some legislatures and public figures understand and support the need for ICT development, others are les aware of the vital roles these technologies will play in our global future, what we need to do, and what is possible to do. Some say IT “doesn’t matter”, the ITIF says it certainly still does. In order to keep this message strong the ITIF’s goal is to help policy makers at the federal and state levels better understand the nature of the new innovation economy and the types of public policies needed to drive innovation, productivity, and broad-based prosperity for the American people.
Publishing policy reports, holding forums and policy debates, advising elected officials and their staff, and serving as a resource for the media are just some of the ways the ITIF fulfills this goal. Along with stringently opposing policies that hinder achievement in the IT world. Current projects include Innovation Fact of the Week, Policy Maker’s Tool Box, and the Innovation Files. Their most recent report “The Whole Picture: Where America’s Broadband Networks Really Stand” analyzes the issue true to its title. Of high value is their “2012 StateN New Economy Index”.
From exploration of the foundations website, the ITIF seems to remain fairly unbiased. Funding comes from a range of donors including: ITIF contributors have included the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the Atlantic Philanthropies, Cisco, Communications Workers of America, eBay, the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, Google, IBM, the Information Technology Industry Council, the Nathan Cummings Foundation, and Bernard L. Schwartz. ITIF’s research has also been funded by U.S. government agencies such as the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). In September 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, according to Wikipedia. This range shows that the organization is not solely back by like-minded IT firms or Government agencies alone.