Tech sector appeals to presidential candidates on innovation agenda

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A baker’s dozen of the biggest technology industry associations are urging both presidential candidates to embrace public sector IT innovation, sign on en masse to the first ever Technology Sector Presidential Platform.

Written as an “open letter,” and released this week by the Information Technology Industry Council, the platform encourages candidates to seed new projects and policies that keep the public sector competitive with private companies.

“The technology sector stands ready to help,” the letter’s introduction said. “We know there is much to do, and much to build upon.”

Thirteen different groups, including Technet, the Silicon Valley Leadership Group, the Internet Association, BSA the Software Alliance, the Consumer Technology Association and the Software and Information Industry Association, signed the letter, dated Wednesday. It’s the first time these tech associations have come together in this fashion.

To make sure neither companies nor the government gets left in the dust, the private sector should be better communicating their needs, and vice versa, AT&T’s James Donovan said. It’s especially important to ensure the government doesn’t disincentive investing, the telco’s chief strategy officer said at an American Enterprise Institute discussion Thursday on the future of broadband networks.

“I think the best thing we can do is keep the government informed on what can be possible,” he said. “It’s not just a measurement issue, it’s a dialogue issue.”

The technology platform open letter also discussed other familiar issues or requests, such as strengthened cybersecurity, better data privacy, a developed Internet of Things strategy, and easier access to licensed and unlicensed spectrum.

The platform also urged the candidates to look at technology as an economic driver. It asked them to invest in developing the STEM workforce and reform the immigration system to make it easier for companies to recruit “highly educated foreign graduates and professionals.”

The trade associations also called for “congressional authorization of the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement,” simplification of the tax code, and the promotion of effective intellectual property protections, both at home and abroad.

“The issues we have outlined are too important to be ignored or treated like bumper sticker slogans,” ITI President and CEO Dean Garfield said in a press release. “We intend to work to make sure innovation is infused into this presidential campaign.”

Contact the reporter on this story via email: Jeremy.Snow@FedScoop.com. Follow him on Twitter @JeremyM_Snow. Sign up for the Daily Scoop — all the federal IT news you need in your inbox every morning — here: fdscp.com/sign-me-on.

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Cybersecurity, Department of the Interior, Departments, emerging technology, Government IT News, Tech, U.S. Geological Survey, workforce
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