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The source for actionable policy ideas to spur innovation.

About the Policymaker's Toolbox

This tool provides policymakers access to actionable ideas that will create a better economy and improve our quality of life. We include not only all policy ideas from ITIF but also ideas from other organizations that we think are worthwhile. Please contact us if you have a recommendation for us to feature.

10 Most Popular Policy Ideas

A wide array of economic studies points to the importance of IT in driving productivity. Yet, most states are still stuck in the old economy when it comes to their tax incentives for manufacturers. Most provide a sales tax exemption for manufacturers for equipment purchased in the manufacturing process, and some even provide tax credits for the purchase of manufacturing equipment. But few extend...
Angel capital, the capital invested by (usually) wealthy individuals in a region’s businesses, is as important as venture capital in supporting entrepreneurship. States can play a key role by helping to link angels and entrepreneurs. For example, the Wisconsin Angel Network (WAN) represents more than 200 individual investors and helps match them with start ups and young companies. Similarly,...
Trade negotiators should create a global free trade zone for clean energy products and services, modeled on the Information Technology Agreement (ITA). Clean Technology Agreement (CTA) would reverse this trend and provide two immediate benefits. First, the CTA would expand global clean technology trade. By eliminating tariffs, prices would decline and global demand would increase, leading to...
Studies show that the research and development tax credit is an effective way of stimulating private-sector R&D. Moreover, state R&D tax credits appear to be even more effective than the federal credit. While 38 states in 2006 linked their R&D tax credits with the federal R&D tax credit, allowing firms to take a 20 percent credit on increased R&D funding, many states have not...
The Secretary of Energy should establish a program that supports public-private clean energy research consortia and should make grants of $10-30 million annually for up to three years to three or more consortia. Eligible consortia should consist of two or more research universities or governmental research facilities and at least three other private sector firms engaged in research, development,...
Lifeline is a federally mandated government program that offers low-income households a discount on their monthly local telephone bill for basic telephone service. In a world where many households have the ability to use broadband for voice services (VOIP), it is anachronistic for this program not to allow consumers to use the subsidy for either traditional voice service (wired or wireless) or...
This program would resemble the current Technology Improvement Program (TIP) operated by NIST but would have an even greater focus on broad sectoral consortia and would allow large firms as well as small and mid-sized ones to participate. To be eligible for matching funding, firms would have to: form an industry-led research consortium of at least five firms; agree to develop a mid-term (three-to...
One step Congress could take to bolster U.S. traded sector competitiveness would be to create a 13-member United States Economic Competitiveness Commission, which would release a report every other year providing an independent assessment of the competitiveness of the U.S. economy (particularly its traded sectors, including but not limited to manufacturing) in the global marketplace. The report...
Countries should not restrict the flow of data beyond their own borders. Doing so does not protect consumers or businesses in any meaningful way from the risk of inadvertent or voluntary disclosures.
Federal agencies supporting university research in STEM should adopt a policy whereby any graduate or post-doctoral student on an assistantship, fellowship, or other form of federal support can petition for a no-cost extension of their assistantship, fellowship, or traineeship, which would allow them to take a “entrepreneurial leave” for one to two years to start a company, and be guaranteed...