202 Items


Towards Digital Platforms and Public Purpose

July 06, 2023

This paper serves as a final summary report for the Democracy and Internet Governance Initiative, a two-year joint initiative between Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs and Shorenstein Center for Media, Politics, and Public Policy. It delves into the rationale and components of a new risk-centered approach to analyze and address the negative impacts of digital platforms. 

Discussion Paper

The Blueprint for a New Government Agency

| July 06, 2023

This discussion paper presents a comprehensive blueprint for the establishment of a federal watchdog within the U.S. government, tasked with overseeing the digital services industry and enforcing standards as they are developed. This paper is part of the Democracy and Internet Governance Initiative. 

Semi-conductor chips are assembled and organized on a workbench before a ribbon-cutting ceremony to mark the opening of a Nanotronics manufacturing center at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, Wednesday, April 28, 2021, in the Brooklyn borough of New York.

AP Photo/John Minchillo

Report - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

Catalyzing Semiconductor Innovation through a National Semiconductor Technology Center

| June 2023

The National Semiconductor Technology Center (NSTC), newly appropriated in the CHIPS and Science Act, is intended to be the central hub for research and engineering within the semiconductor ecosystem. This paper delves into the socioeconomic and geopolitical context of the CHIPS legislation, the infrastructure supporting the NSTC, and crucial business considerations for its success. Specifically, the authors highlight the potential benefits for smaller and medium-sized enterprises, which stand to gain the most from the NSTC.

ATE student learning to measure output power from a laser

Photo from ATE Impacts 2020-2021

Report - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

Lab-to-Market Translation at NSF’s Technology, Innovation, and Partnerships (TIP) Directorate

| June 2023

One major effort through which CHIPS and Science seeks to achieve this is the creation of the Technology, Innovation, and Partnerships (TIP) Directorate at the National Science Foundation (NSF). The TIP Directorate’s mission is to advance use-inspired research at NSF, particularly in areas of technology critical to strategic competition. 

Technicians in clean room learn to make semiconductors

Photo from ATE Impacts 2022-2023

Report - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

Community Colleges and the Semiconductor Workforce

| June 2023

Over the last several decades, the U.S.’s domestic semiconductor manufacturing capacity has declined. The CHIPS Act aims to reverse this trend by investing over $50 billion in direct funding and loan subsidies to expand semiconductor research and development and manufacturing in the U.S. This primer focuses on the workforce challenges that will be spurred by this microelectronics industry expansion and proposes how community colleges can play a critical role in addressing these challenges. 

Someone holds a silicon wafer with chips etched into it as Vice President Kamala Harris tours a site where Applied Materials plans to build a $4 billion research facility on Monday, May 22, 2023, in Sunnyvale, Calif.

Jim Wilson/The New York Times via AP, Pool

Report - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

Standard Setting: Process, Politics, and the CHIPS Program

  • Sreya Vaidyanathan
  • Arya Thapa
  • Andrew Trzcinski
| June 2023

The CHIPS & Science Act of 2022 outlines an expansive national strategy to preserve and bolster the United States’ national security by ensuring a pathway for a resilient supply chain for semiconductors and other critical and emerging technologies. Targeted provisions in the CHIPS and Science Act aim to address U.S. leadership in domestic and international standards-setting processes. For federal agencies such as the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), contending with implementation of standards-related mandates within the CHIPS program presents a delicate balancing act between supporting emerging national priorities but preserving the existing industry-driven model for setting standards. 

drawing of math problems

N. Hanacek/NIST

Report - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

Technology Primer: Post-Quantum Cryptography

  • Boaz Barak
  • Lily Chen
  • Jack Hidary
  • Vinod Vaikuntanathan
| June 23, 2023

Quantum computers pose a threat to conventional cryptography, putting our information and communication systems at risk. In an effort to sustain the privacy and integrity of our data ecosystems, researchers are turning to post-quantum cryptography (PQC). This publication describes how PQC works, and the governance, application, and public purpose considerations for implementing PQC. 

teaser image

Blog Post

DAO Harvard Conference Recap

| June 20, 2023

On April 2-4, 2023, the DAO Harvard conference brought together practitioners, policymakers, and academics to engage in conversation regarding the research, legal, and policy considerations of Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAOs). The conference, hosted by the Belfer Center’s Technology & Public Purpose Project and the Edmond and Lily Safra Center for Ethics, convened global participants across five continents here at Harvard University. This post will recap some of the major themes and takeaways from each of the individual summits– the Research Summit, Law Summit, and Summit on Equitable Ownership and Governance in the Online Economy.

teaser image

Blog Post - perspectives-on-public-purpose

Fostering a Digital Commons: Internet-Native Experiments For Sustainable Open-Source Software

| June 20, 2023

The internet, and by extension much of the global economy, is built on “digital public goods,” often in the form of open-source software. This open-source software is a critical infrastructure for the devices and applications that are part of our everyday lives, yet remains consistently under-funded and under-resourced. Below we explore the importance of and obstacles to sustainability that open-source software faces today, and highlight various experiments that aim to improve the quantity and quality of such infrastructure.