Policy@Tech: A Force Multiplier for Impacting Policy Decisions

An important step toward Georgia Tech's vision for global leadership as the 21st century research university is unfolding under the new Policy@Tech consortium.

Policy@Tech brings together more than 60 faculty and leaders from the Institute, colleges, and research centers across campus with a goal of increasing the Institute’s influence on policy decisions that address global challenges.  

“By coalescing these individuals and groups, we have the opportunity to network and to leverage work in priority areas and thus, elevate the Institute’s ability to shape state and national discussions on critical global challenges,” said Susan Cozzens, Professor in the School of Public Policy and Associate Dean for Research Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts (IAC). Cozzens facilitates the consortium.

All of the Policy@Tech campus partners have served in government or on government advisory bodies, so a key strategy is to utilize that ‘insider’ knowledge. Additionally, the group is working to raise the visibility of Georgia Tech’s policy-related research both interally and externally and to catalyze faculty and student interaction with decision-makers.

The Policy@Tech centers are the Center for Advanced Communications Policy (CACP), the Center for International Strategy, Technology, and Policy (CISTP), and the Technology Policy and Assessment Center (TPAC), all of which are housed in the Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts; the Office of Policy Analysis and Research (OPAR) in GTRI and the Science, Technology, and Innovation Policy Program (STIP) housed in the Enterprise Innovation Institute.

Policy@Tech launched a campus speaker series last January. The 2011-2012 series kicked off in November with Amy Pritchett speaking on “The Intersection of Technology and Policy in Aviation Safety” (video available on SmarTech, http://hdl.handle.net/1853/42031). Pritchett is the David S. Lewis Associate Professor of Cognitive Engineering, Aerospace Engineering Joint Associate Professor Industrial and Systems Engineering, and a former Director of NASA's Aviation Safety Program. On January 24th, the topic was “Biotechnology and National Security: the Role of the Scientist/Engineer in Washington.” Speakers were Margaret E. Kosal, Assistant Professor in the Sam Nunn School of International Affairs who served as Science and Technology Advisor in the Office of the Secretary of Defense as an American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Science and Technology Fellow, and Rob Butera, Professor in the College of Engineering who served in the Department of State’s Office of Chemical and Biological Weapon Threat Reduction as a Jefferson Science Fellow. Christine Ries (Economics) spoke February 24th on how to do analysis of tax policy.  On March 8th, the series continues with Mike Meyer (Civil Engineering) discussing engineers in the world of transportation policy. For details, visit http://www.iac.gatech.edu/research/policy-at-tech or the IAC or Georgia Tech calendars.

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