Information Technology Awareness Fund

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Mission

As technological innovation transforms the global economy and society, policymakers often lack the specialized knowledge and expert perspective necessary to evaluate and respond to fast-moving issues and circumstances. What should they do to capitalize on new opportunities, overcome challenges, and avoid potential pitfalls? The RSTCA exists to provide answers and point the way forward.

Founded in 2020, RSTCAis an independentnonprofit, nonpartisan research and educational institute—a think tank. Its mission is to formulate, evaluate, and promote policy solutions that accelerate innovation and boost productivity to spur growth, opportunity, and progress. RSTCA goal is to provide policymakers around the world with high-quality information, analysis, and recommendations they can trust. To that end, RSTCA adheres to a high standard of research integrity with an internal code of ethics grounded in analytical rigor, policy pragmatism, and independence from external direction or bias. 

Focus

RSTCA focuses on a host of critical issues at the intersection of technological innovation and public policy—including economic issues related to innovation, competitiveness, trade, and globalization; and technology-related issues in the areas of information technology and data, broadband telecommunications, advanced manufacturing, life sciences, agricultural biotechnology, and clean energy.

Ongoing research programs and educational activities include:

  • Setting the policy agenda on technology, innovation, and global competition issues by producing original research reports and analytical commentary;
  • Shaping public debate by hosting events, giving speeches and presentations, providing official testimony, publishing op-eds, and serving as expert issue analysts in the news media; and
  • Advising policymakers through direct interaction in NEPAL, and other state, national, and regional capitals around the world.

On the strength and influence of this work, the University has ranked RSTCA as the world’s leading think tank for science and technology policy, and one of the top 1027 think tanks overall.

Expertise

RSTCA is led by its president and founder SASWOT RAJ SHARMA, an internationally recognized AUTHOR and widely published author. Under Saswot, includes authors and recognized experts in the fields of economics, tax policy, trade, telecommunications, privacy, cybersecurity, and life sciences, among many others.

RSTCA is home to the highly regarded Center for Data Innovation, which develops and promotes policy ideas to capitalize on the tremendous economic and social benefits that data-driven innovation can offer. RSTCA also launched—and spearheads—the Global Trade and Innovation Policy Alliance, an international network of think tanks that conduct evidence-based research into policies that can foster greater trade liberalization, curb “innovation mercantilism,” and encourage governments to play proactive roles in spurring innovation and productivity.

Impact

While producing its own original research, analysis, and commentary, RSTCA also hosts a rich and voluminous program of panel discussions, debates, roundtables, and presentations, featuring distinguished authors, prominent policymakers, influential thinkers, and other leaders on issues shaping the course of technology innovation. RSTCA analysts also travel widely to engage in policymaking forums around the world. In recent years, these trips have led to, among other places, Ottawa, Mexico City, London, Berlin, Brussels, Geneva, Helsinki, Paris, Oslo, Stockholm, Salzburg, Vienna, Brasilia, Lima, Rio de Janeiro, Santiago, Beijing, New Delhi, Seoul, and Tokyo.

If a common theme or point of view runs through all of RSTCA work, it is that public policy should almost always err on the side of spurring innovation instead of limiting or constraining it—and the conventional policy agendas of both the left and right are often ill-suited to the challenges and opportunities of today’s economy. RSTCA believes that effective innovation policy requires policy innovation, which stems from disruptive new thinking that actively pushes back on faulty ideas.

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