A nonprofit group is pushing for the creation of a National Advanced Industry and Technology Agency that would be responsible for creating policies to “ensure long-term U.S. advanced industry leadership,” according to a June 17 release.

The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) said such an agency is necessary for the United States to keep a strategic advantage over competitors. The agency would be responsible for developing a national technology strategy for the nation.

“Economy-wide competitiveness policies, like enhancing the R&D (research and development) tax credit, strengthening the country’s STEM workforce, and bolstering digital infrastructure, are all necessary, but they are not sufficient,” ITIF President Robert Atkinson wrote.

“To compete effectively with China, the Federal government needs an advanced industry and technology strategy – a set of policies and programs explicitly designed to support specific targeted industries and technologies,” Atkinson continued.

Atkinson recommends the agency have five subdivisions, focused on data and analysis, advanced industries, emerging tech, innovation systems, and cross-agency and cross-government coordination. ITIF said ideally the agency would have a similarly sized budget to the National Science Foundation, for which President Biden proposed a budget of $8.17 billion for the fiscal year 2022.

No current Federal agency is currently tasked with maintaining advanced tech competitiveness as its core mission. Some of the key programs the agency would undertake, under this proposal, include bringing industry production back to the United States, work on closing data gaps, and helping the industry compete with China in the standards-setting arena.

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Lamar Johnson
Lamar Johnson
Lamar Johnson is a MeriTalk Senior Technology Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.