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Harnessing Openness to Improve Research, Teaching and Learning in Higher Education

November 5, 2009

Colleges and universities should embrace the concept of increased openness in the use and sharing of information to improve higher education. That is the core recommendation of this report. The report was produced by CED's Digital Connections Council (DCC), a group of information technology experts that advises CED's business leaders on cutting-edge technologies.

Harnessing Openness to Transform American Health Care - Executive Summary

January 16, 2008

Executive summary of "Harnessing Openness to Transform American Health Care" report. Includes findings and recommendations in brief.

Harnessing Openness to Transform American Health Care

January 16, 2008

The Digital Connections Council (DCC) of the Committee for Economic Development (CED) has been developing the concept of openness in a series of reports. It has analyzed information and processes to determine their openness based on qualities of "accessibility" and "responsiveness." If information is not available or available only under restrictive conditions it is less accessible and therefore less "open." If information can be modified, repurposed, and redistributed freely it is more responsive, and therefore more "open." This report looks at how "openness" is being or might usefully be employed in the healthcare arena. This area, which now constitutes approximately 16-17 percent of GDP, has long frustrated policymakers, practitioners, and patients. Bringing greater openness to different parts of the healthcare production chain can lead to substantial benefits by stimulating innovation, lowering costs, reducing errors, and closing the gap between discovery and treatment delivery. The report is not exhaustive; it focuses on biomedical research and the disclosure of research findings, processes of evaluating drugs and devices, the emergence of electronic health records, the development and implementation of treatment regimes by caregivers and patients, and the interdependence of the global public health system and data sharing and worldwide collaboration.

Open Standards, Open Source, And Open Innovation: Harnessing the Benefits of Openness

April 1, 2006

Digitization of information and the growth of the Internet have profoundly expanded the capacity for openness, which can be viewed largely as a function of the accessibility and responsiveness (meaning the ability of anyone to make modifications) of a work or process. In this report, the Digital Connections Council of the Committee for Economic Development (CED) studies the impact of three manifestations of openness in order to gauge the importance of openness, and to determine whether public policy should encourage it, restrict it, or be neutral.

Open Standards, Open Source, And Open Innovation: Harnessing the Benefits of Openness (Chinese version)

April 1, 2006

"Open Standards, Open Source, And Open Innovation: Harnessing the Benefits of Openness" -- full report in Chinese.

Promoting Innovation and Economic Growth: The Special Problem of Digital Intellectual Property

March 1, 2004

There has been an explosion in the popularity of downloading and transmitting high-value digital content, triggered by the growth of the Internet and the evolution of peer-to-peer systems. At the same time, there is a substantial disconnect between public attitudes toward copyright and the letter of the law, and growing concern among copyright-holders over the erosion of their rights. The National Academy of Sciences has identified the phenomenon at the center of these developments and labeled it the "digital dilemma": The same technologies that allow the creation and manipulation of digital content (as well as its perfect reproduction and nearly free distribution) can also be used to prevent access to digital content. The result is a major policy debate between those who seek to protect their rights in digital content and those concerned about the public access to content that has traditionally been guaranteed under copyright law. In this emerging digital world, what, if anything, should be done to ensure that authors, artists, songwriters, and musicians have adequate incentives to create content? And what, if anything, should be done to protect the public's access rights, developed in the physical world, in order to encourage innovation and dissemination and to enhance the public domain? This report from the Digital Connections Council (DCC) of the Committee for Economic Development presents a different view of this "digital dilemma." Because of CED's mission to foster economic growth, the DCC has focused on the economic impact of copyright protection in the digital age and the potential economic effects of proposals for change. The report briefly explores the history of copyright law, revealing that legal protection of the rights of creators has always been explicitly balanced against protection of ongoing innovation. The DCC brings the perspective of the second innovator -- the creator of new social value based on existing copyrighted works -- to bear, noting that every creator owes a debt to what has come before. For this reason, our intellectual property systems are based on providing incentives to both create new material and to make such material open to the public for use for subsequent creation. The report then discusses current proposals for legislative and regulatory change, focusing on requests by the content distribution industries for technical copy protection mandates. Such mandates would have substantial effects on the information technology and consumer electronics industries in this country, on innovation, and on the economic growth that stems from the freedom to innovate.