15 May 2024

Developing an actionable framework to guide promotion and protection policies for emerging technologies

Hanna Dohmen

In February 2024, the Atlantic Council Global China Hub (AC GCH) and the Special Competitive Studies Project (SCSP) convened experts and policymakers in a private workshop to test an actionable framework designed to guide policymakers in identifying emerging technology priorities. Using SCSP’s Strategic Evaluation Framework, participants discussed five technology case studies (commercial drones, electric vehicles, genomic sequencers, Internet of Things, and mobile applications) based on technological, rival, and domestic factors. This memo summarizes insights gathered during the workshop.

Strategic context

The ongoing technology competition with the People’s Republic of China (PRC) is at the forefront of policy debates in the United States and globally. It is widely understood in policy circles that technology competition involves both protecting US leadership and promoting US innovation in emerging technologies. Protecting US technological strengths entails limiting or cutting off adversaries’ access to, and slowing adversaries’ progress in, certain technologies that could undermine or threaten US national security and technological as well as economic competitiveness through tools like inbound and outbound investment screening, export controls, and sanctions. Promoting US innovation entails incentivizing and advancing US technological progress by fostering research and innovation through tools such as federal research and development (R&D) funding, patents, and grants.

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