Looking for Innovation Themes at the Democratic National Convention
This week, the political and policy worlds will turn their eyes to Charlotte, N.C., as the Democratic National Convention (DNC) kicks off. As we did for the Republican convention in Tampa, ITI and TechElect will provide analysis and insights throughout the week.
At the GOP convention, we were looking for greater insights into the innovation-focused priorities that Governor Romney and Representative Ryan. We wanted to see how the convention would build on the priorities that the Romney campaign has put forward along with the proposals long supported by Representative Ryan. In his Roadmap for America’s Future, Ryan included a call to replace the U.S. corporate income tax (highest in the world) with a border-adjustable business consumption tax of 8.5 percent.
During the convention, the Republican focus on the TechElect agenda was reflected in the party’s platform and in remarks from Senator Portman and Secretary Rice. While there were few specifics, the general rhetoric touched on each of our six priorities: STEM education, tax reform that enhances innovation, high-skilled immigration reform, expanded trade and open markets, cybersecurity, and expanded use of innovative technologies to increase U.S. energy security and create new jobs. (Check out the side-by-side comparison, where our six-point agenda meets the GOP platform.)
At the Democratic convention, we’re anxious to read the party platform to see how it matches up with the TechElect priorities. But, more importantly, we most interested to hear what the President and Vice President have to say. On the campaign trail, they talk regularly about the import of technology and innovation to create jobs and drive economic success here at home. Last week in Fort Collins, Colo., the President remarked:
“We can choose whether we give up new jobs and new industries to other countries, or whether we fight for those jobs in states like Colorado and Iowa and Ohio -- by investing in the research of our scientists, investing in the skills of our workers and our students, in the innovation that harnesses new sources of energy, that brings about the next generation of manufacturing in places like Fort Collins.”
The President’s rhetoric is backed up by a solid record of leadership on technology and innovation – a record that includes highlights such as:
- Utilizing innovation to drive next-generation manufacturing and job creation;
- The expansion of broadband technologies;
- Freeing up spectrum and accelerating its auction;
- The overhaul of the antiquated patent system to help inventors bring products to market faster (and opening a patent office in key tech hubs such as Silicon Valley and Denver);
- The launch of initiatives like Startup America , the Big Data effort, or Digital Promise;
- Significant investments in innovation, research, and STEM education; and
- The use of technology to save energy and expand innovation through the Federal Data Center Consolidation Initiative, and the Federal Cloud First Policy.
Throughout the DNC, we’ll look to see how these achievements are highlighted, and what ideas to build on them are put forward for the next four years.
As we did with the RNC, you’ll be able to watch live webcasts from the Democratic convention on our sister ITI site and, throughout the week, we’ll post analysis and insights on the policies and commentary as they happen in Charlotte.