The coronavirus pandemic has brought to light the importance of technology and data in our economy, as businesses have utilized technological tools to continue to serve customers and those in need. Businesses are also working collaboratively with government authorities to collect and analyze data related to the virus in order to mitigate its spread and promote public health.
Last year, the U.S. Chamber’s Center for Technology Engagement Center (C_TEC) launched TecNation 2019, a nationwide campaign to inform the public and policymakers about the way that technology is changing lives and shaping the future of work and life in America. TecNation was a collaborative effort that included participation from local chambers of commerce, businesses across several industries, academia, government officials, and others.
Since its creation in 2015, C_TEC has advocated for rational policies that drive economic growth, spur innovation, and create jobs. C_TEC has sought to counter misguided criticisms of the technology sector, which threaten to bring about policies that are harmful for businesses and consumers. TecNation has been a central component of these efforts by drawing on policy and market expertise in order to educate the public as well as policymakers at the state and federal level.
While TecNation occurred prior to the coronavirus outbreak, many of the issues discussed are even more timely and relevant both to the immediate response to the pandemic as well as transitioning our economy out of the crisis. These issues include:
- The benefits of responsible data use and the importance of smart data privacy regulation
- Closing the “digital skills gap”
- Creating more opportunities for rural communities to participate in the digital economy
- Smart cities and the impact of 5G
- Challenges and opportunities related to artificial intelligence
- Automated vehicles
The report summarizes the issues examined during TecNation and includes a set of policy recommendations that will help ensure innovative technologies continue to flourish in order to help our economy grow and improve the quality of life for all Americans.