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Given intelligent transportation systems’ (ITS) ability to maximize the capacity of existing highway infrastructure, expanding funding for ITS is the optimal use of highway transportation funding. Yet states have significantly underinvested in ITS, preferring to fund traditional transportation investments such as new highway capacity. As one GAO study on the state of ITS deployment in the United...
Passenger safety must be paramount, but policymakers should also make sure that regulations such as these are justified. It is time for clearer standards and more scientific investigation to determine acceptable levels of electromagnetic emissions for portable electronic devices on aircraft and the impact of these devices on aircraft navigation and communication systems. Once an acceptable level...
Creating these new positions would send a clear signal that a key part of USTR’s job is to aggressively bring actions against other nations that are engaged in technology mercantilism.
Government alone cannot fully investigate all potential WTO cases. The U.S. private sector is deeply engaged in the problems caused by unfair trade practices, while the government is a step away. Companies do not do more because they have an incentive to be “free riders”—taking advantage of cases filed by the government or prepared by other companies. Companies that do help bring cases are acting...
While process R&D, done to improve the process of production in firms, is technically eligible under the definition of qualified R&D, in practice it can be difficult for companies to take the credit, in part because Treasury interprets the statute very narrowly. But there are spillovers from process R&D which means that without the credit firms will do less process R&D than is...
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 competitiveness of industry depends in part on the skills of its workers. Given the rapid increase in education levels abroad, it is clear that the skills of American workers must be strengthened both pre-market—through better high school curri cula and higher college matriculation and completion rates—and through on-the-job training. Training and on-going education are critical drivers of ro...
Allocating 0.15 percent of agency research budgets to commercialization programs would generate $110 million per year to fund technology commercialization and innovation efforts. Half the funds could go to universities and federal laboratories for a variety of initiatives, including mentoring programs for research entrepreneurs, student entrepreneurship clubs and entrepreneurship curricula,...
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...
Accessibility, much like security or privacy, must be engineered early on in the development of products and services. For example, a self-service kiosk may not always be accessible to an individual in a wheelchair or an online application may not be compliant with accessible web standards. To ensure that as more self-service technology becomes available it does not come at the expense of any...
The PTO’s policy of requiring examiners to check into the office every two weeks requires patent examiners to live in the Washington, DC metro area. If PTO set up small satellite offices around the country examiners could choose to live in less expensive areas and increase their standard of living, while still getting access to an office.
To reduce the delays that currently plague the U.S. patent system, the PTO should be able to retain all patent fees and the PTO should have fee-setting authority to increase fees to meet budgetary needs. The current statute requiring USPTO to wait for a congressionally amended fee schedule is inflexible and does not allow USPTO to respond to increased costs.
Commercialization and entrepreneurship are keys to economic development. To maximize both, there should be at least one organization in each state that has this as its mission. One model is Oklahoma’s non-profit i2E organization. Through its various programs i2E helps Oklahoma companies with strategic planning assistance, networking opportunities, and access to capital. Likewise, Pennsylvania’s...
Since it was revised over a decade ago, SBIC has been an effective tool. However, if all the program does is provide lower cost capital to venture firms investing in late stage and large deals, it is not fulfilling its purpose of addressing market failure or limitation. Congress should require that SBIC devote some share of funds (perhaps not less than 25 percent) to smaller deals (perhaps less...
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...