Robert Atkinson, President of the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF), responded to the 2014 State of the Union address by praising the announcement of six new manufacturing innovation institutes as well as the President’s call to roll back sequestration cuts to federal research and development.
“The National Network for Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI), which was originally proposed by ITIF, offers a tremendous opportunity to promote industry-university partnerships, improve technology transfer and promote manufacturing innovation nationally,” Atkinson adds. “I applaud the president’s creation of 6 new centers in this network and echo his call for Congress to pass bi-partisan legislation that would create a fully-funded, nation-wide NNMI system.”
“Restoring federal R&D spending will also spur innovation and reduce the negative impact of sequestration on economic growth and American competitiveness. But, R&D funding must include dollars for applied research and pilot programs that can ensure research is successfully transferred to market so it has the greatest impact on society.”
“The President did also talk about corporate tax reform. However, any plan needs to focus on reducing the 'effective' corporate tax rate if we want to ensure that businesses in America can operate on a level playing field with our international competitors.”
Atkinson also noted that President Obama’s connection between technology and the hollowing out of the middle class was disappointing. “Technology is a key to economic growth and opportunity and it is not the cause of middle class economic woes. In fact, it is the solution to those woes” Atkinson said. “We need to enhance technological development and promote automation and productivity growth, not equate ‘robots’ with unemployment or inequality.”