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US CTO on Reinventing America


America’s Chief Technology Officer, Aneesh Chopra, talking to TechCrunch’s Andrew Keen last month on his three priorities for driving technological innovation in America.

Chopra’s three priorities include:

  • Building a “smart infrastructure” for the digital age.

Well, we believe, first and foremost that we need to have a robust baseline infrastructure for the country. And to me that baseline infrastructure isn’t just roadways, railways and runways. But it includes smart infrastructure. 4G network that covers 98 percent of the country. A smart grid, a healthcare IT platform that has doctors and hospitals interconnected. And a learning technologies platform that allows schools and parents and children to communicate and learn from each other and from new resources, number one.

  • Establishing “rules of the road” for critical issues like security and intellectual property protection

So as we grapple with issues of security and privacy intellectual property enforcement and the like. We need rules of the road that will comport to the 21st century, internet economy as we see it. And the President’s signature on the patent reform bill last week is just an example of the down payment in that regard.

  • Overcoming the “productivity gap” to create digital jobs

We have seen for too long a productivity gap between the potential for how a technology-driven health care system, energy system, education system can operate and what it actually looks like today. McKinsey recently published a study that we can juice up productivity rates in those sectors of US economy that have not seen the kind of growth that they should. That will in turn will create jobs of the future and open up a new chapter of innovation and I’m very hopeful that the president’s strategy for American innovation, available at whitehouse.gov/innovation, answers the call on each of these key challenges that are in front of us.

Other interesting comments focused on how citizens and entrepreneurs can participate with government to improve healthcare, energy management and education:

Well, my number one goal is to inspire them [entrepreneurs] to participate in ways that we can invent a better America. That is, if you’re looking at opportunities to give back, you might be a developer at a company with some spare time and you can help us build a product or service that will improve our healthcare system, improve our energy management, improve our ability to educate our children…

We think the healthcare system is ripe for breakthroughs. We’d love for new entrepreneurs to come into the market..and help us to build that better value based healthcare system…We are increasingly attracting former entrepreneurs in the government using the notion of government as an invitation convener tool more so than  money or new laws that have to be put in place. And there’s a lot we can do together with just the role as government as convener. If you’re entrepreneur and you think there is something you want to work on today.

Chopra on the emergence of an Apps ecosystem through data sharing standards:

I’ve visited schools and families that have had kids learn better by complementing their school system with information technology fueled products and services and the energy space. This is a live issue here in California. Just last month, the California state regulators announced that they would direct three utilities in the state to come together on a common standard for how they will share energy information to customers that want it.

Imagine the apps ecosystem that will emerge. That will take my energy data from my home and convince me when I should turn out the lights and how I should manage my home energy use. Studies show that this could save anywhere from three, four, five, some even say 15 percent on our energy If we were empowered with the right information to make better decisions. So energy, healthcare, and education are top of mine priorities for us and opportunities that we believe will benefit greatly from the entrepreneurial gift system here in Silicon Valley.

(via TechCrunch)

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