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CT Tech Grassroots in DC

CTC was in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday, March 18, 2009 as we met with leaders from other technology councils from across the country. CT business leaders addressed some of the key issues facing the technology industry and met with Senator Lieberman and Representatives Rosa DeLauro and Chris Murphy.

The issues we brought to Washington:

STEM AND WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT The most lasting stimulus to the economy of the United States will be “stim-novation”—the investment our nation makes in shaping the emerging generation of innovators who will discover, invent, and commercialize new technologies that move our nation and the world into a better future. Recognizing this, TECNA advocates for:

• Driving comprehensive STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education reforms and innovations from preschool through college via dedicated federal education and workforce development funding sources. • Establishing a national training program for technology industry jobs to encourage the re-skilling of incumbent workers and transition emerging workers into the innovation economy. • Federal funding to support paid internship grants that provide America’s young people with firsthand experience working in and with the technology sector at a paid wage that benefits both the intern and the employer. • Continue funding and support for rural competitiveness through the U.S. Department of Labor’s WIRED (Workforce Innovation in Regional Economic Development) program.

HEALTHCARE IT Advances in healthcare IT promise to increase the accessibility and affordability of quality healthcare, while also demonstrating innovations that will have worldwide applicability and generate new jobs. To support Healthcare IT development, TechNA advocates for:

• Working with the healthcare and IT industries to create guidelines and best practices for the rapid deployment of $19 billion in stimulus funding for adoption of electronic medical records (EMR). • Targeted funding for the continued development of Health Information Exchange (HIE) networks at the state and regional levels. Without multi-party HIE partnerships, the benefits of EMR and e-prescribing will not be fully realized.

BROADBAND ACCESS Universal access to high-bandwidth internet connectivity is an essential component in America’s present and future competitiveness. It is also a critical facet in the long-term success of healthcare IT, since more than 61 million Americans live in rural settings. Even in urban areas, the challenge will be to maintain and enhance bandwidth as the demand for internet applications grows exponentially. TECNA advocates for:

• Federal commitment to ensuring that high-speed internet access reaches all Americans in both urban and rural areas, through continued funding for rural broadband. • Funding to address the Exaflood (the exponential growth of the internet through the use of video and other high-bandwidth applications) so that healthcare providers and other users can transmit images, video, and other files quickly and easily from any location.

INNOVATION ECONOMICS In order to encourage innovation, America needs to remain focused on establishing a culture that encourages bold, new thinking and the introduction of new technologies in the marketplace. Innovation economics are the engine for our nation’s future growth. As a result, TecNA advocates for:

• Encouraging innovation and remaining globally competitive. America needs a world-class patent system. Patent reform should ensure a balanced playing field that fairly compensates all innovators. With much at stake, we encourage Information Technology (IT), Bio/life-sciences and competing interests to negotiate patent reform solutions and to achieve timely passage of patent reform. • Maintaining our commitment to the recently re-approved Federal Research and Development (R&D) tax credit by making it a permanent fixture in America’s domestic economic policy. Half of all companies who use the R&D tax credit are small businesses who are developing emerging technologies and can generate new wealth for our nation through their efforts

Please comment with your thoughts about these issues here.

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