This Week in Washington IP: Protecting Bayh-Dole, AI Cybersecurity Issues and COVID-19’s Impact on Tech Supply Chains

By IPWatchdog
April 21, 2020

This week in Washington, D.C., committee hearings in both houses of Congress remain silent during the COVID-19 shutdown. However, many D.C. think tanks have resumed their schedule of technology and IP policy events, which will be webcast for the foreseeable future. This week features a trio of events hosted by the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, including a Thursday event on the successes of medical innovation under Bayh-Dole and how that law is impacting the development of COVID-19 treatments and vaccines. Elsewhere, New America examines digital security issues encountered during the world’s shift to work-from-home platforms, while the Hudson Institute explores how the pandemic has magnified global issues in the supply chain for the high-tech sector. Webcast details, including any registration requirements or question submission information, are available on the web page for each event.

Tuesday, April 21 

New America 

Digital Security Needs a Work-From-Home Makeover

At 11:00 AM on Tuesday.

With about 95% of the U.S. population operating under the effects of a stay-at-home order issued at the state or local level, as much of the nation’s economy as possible has taken to remote video conferencing technologies in order to stay in business or continue their studies. This massive shift to online conferencing, however, has revealed major security issues inherent in many available platforms. This event will explore the benefits and security risks of various technologies being adopted during this work-from-home revolution including digital assistants, video calls and connected devices. The event will feature a discussion with a panel including Justin Brookman, Director, Consumer Privacy and Technology Policy, Consumer Reports; Nat Meysenburg, Technologist, New America’s Open Technology Institute; Katie McInnis, Policy Counsel, Consumer Reports; and moderated by Andi Wilson Thompson, Senior Policy Analyst, New America’s Open Technology Institute.

Center for International & Strategic Studies

Synthetic Biology and National Security: Risks and Opportunities (Part 2 of 2)

At 1:00 PM on Tuesday.

Synthetic biology, which involves the engineering of biological organisms for more useful purposes, is an emerging field of technology which, like artificial intelligence and 5G networks, will have a significant impact on a wide range of industries from microelectronics to cosmetics. This event, the second of a two-part CSIS series on synthetic biology, will focus on the technology’s potential as a critical emerging technology, its economic and societal implications, its impacts on national security and any policy implications for the sector. The event will feature a discussion with a panel including Dr. Megan Palmer, Senior Research Scholar, Center for International Security and Cooperation at Stanford; Dr. Alexander Titus, Chief Strategy Officer, Advanced Regenerative Manufacturing Institute; Dr. Rocco Casagrande, Founder and Managing Director, Gryphon Scientific; Morgan Dwyer, Fellow, International Security Program and Deputy Director for Policy Analysis, Defense-Industrial Initiatives Group; and Andrew Philip Hunter, Director, Defense-Industrial Initiatives Group and Senior Fellow, International Security Program.

Information Technology and Innovation Foundation

How to Close the Homework Gap and Boost Online Education

At 1:00 PM on Tuesday.

K-12 students across the nation are also adjusting to the new normal of distance learning through the use of remote teaching technologies. However, many of these students are feeling the digital divide more acutely than ever. A lack of reliable Internet access at home has already created a “homework gap” among students across the country and this has only been exacerbated by the need to access educational resources while living under stay-at-home orders. This event will explore pathways that policymakers can explore to close the connectivity divide now and beyond the COVID-19 pandemic. The event will begin with a keynote address by Jessica Rosenworcel, Commissioner, Federal Communications Commission. Following this address will be a discussion with a panel including Doug Brake, Director, Broadband and Spectrum Policy, ITIF; Daniel Castro, Vice President, ITIF and Director, Center for Data Innovation; and Angela Siefer, Executive Director, National Digital Inclusion Alliance.

Brookings Institution

Public Health Surveillance, AI Bias, and Risks to Privacy in the Fight Against COVID-19

At 2:00 PM on Tuesday.

The use of artificial intelligence and other technologies for citizen tracking has been increasingly employed to reduce infection risks during the COVID-19 pandemic. Although the biometric and location data tracked by these technologies have been very useful to public health systems responding to the crisis, the collection of health data raises very interesting data privacy issues. This event, sponsored by Brookings’ Center for Technology Innovation, will discuss both existing and potential uses for AI and other digital public health surveillance tools. The event will feature a discussion with panelists including Alex Engler, Rubenstein Fellow, Governance Studies; Michelle Richardson, Director, Privacy and Data Project; and moderated by Nicol Turner Lee, Fellow, Governance Studies, Center for Technology Innovation.


Wednesday, April 22 

Information Technology and Innovation Foundation 

How to Deepen Transatlantic Ties in AI and Cybersecurity

At 10:00 AM on Wednesday.

Devices and machinery used in a variety of industries are increasingly being integrated with artificial intelligence technologies to improve the distribution of services to consumers. However, AI use introduces a host of cybersecurity issues, from the use of bad data to train machine learning models to subverting inputs in automated systems to manipulate outcomes. This event will explore how transatlantic partnerships between the U.S. and Europe can improve AI cybersecurity and how such initiatives can be promoted by policymakers. The event will feature a discussion with a panel including José-Marie Griffiths, Commissioner of the U.S. National Security Council on Artificial Intelligence, Present of Dakota State University; Jan Havránek, Policy Advisor, Policy Planning Unit, Office of the Secretary General, North Atlantic Treaty Organization; Cameron F. Kerry, Ann R. and Andrew H. Tisch Distinguished Visiting Fellow of Governance Studies, Brookings Institution; Florian Pennings, Cybersecurity Policy Manager, EU Government Affairs, Microsoft; and moderated by Eline Chivot, Senior Policy Analyst, Center for Data Innovation.

Hudson Institute 

How Will the COVID-19 Pandemic Change Manufacturing and Technology Supply Chains?

At 12:00 PM on Wednesday.

Supply chain issues in the high technology and medical supplies sectors have been the focus of policymakers for a few years now and the current COVID-19 crisis has only sharpened these concerns. This event, hosted by the Hudson Institute in partnership with the Manufacturing Policy Initiative at Indiana University, will explore ways that many businesses engage in long-term planning to secure supply chains beyond the issues presented by the pandemic. Speakers at this event will include Peter Anderson, Vice President of Global Supply Chain, Cummins Inc.; Tom Duesterberg, Senior Fellow, Hudson Institute and Member of Manufacturing Policy Initiative Advisory Board; Sridhar Kota, Herrick Professor of Engineering at the University of Michigan and the Founding Executive Director at MForesight: Alliance for Manufacturing Foresight; and Sue G. Smith, Vice President for the Technology & Applied Sciences Division and Corporate Executive for Advanced Manufacturing, Ivy Tech Community College.

Thursday, April 23

Information Technology and Innovation Foundation 

Bayh-Dole and the Coronavirus Crisis

At 12:30 PM on Thursday.

The Bayh-Dole Act of 1980 has resulted in an explosion of pharmaceutical and medical innovation stemming from federally-funded basic research, especially research conducted at U.S. academic institutions. While this law has proven to be very effective at clearing a pathway towards commercialization for many important medical breakthroughs, and will likely play a major role in the eventual development of a COVID-19 vaccine, some have called for abandoning this innovation model. This event, hosted by ITIF and the Bayh-Dole 40 Coalition, will look at public and private partnerships in the fight against COVID-19 and how both patents and Bayh-Dole improve the drug development process. The event is hosted by Stephen Ezell, Vice President, Global Innovation Policy, ITIF. The event will feature a discussion with a panel including Wendy Commins Holman, CEO and Founder, Ridgeback Biotherapeutics; Mark Rohrbaugh, Special Advisor for Technology Transfer, National Institute of Health; Jon Soderstrom, Managing Director, University Technology Commercialization and Faculty Innovation, Yale University; and moderated by Joseph P. Allen, Former President, National Technology Transfer Center.


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