Indiana poised to become global leader in technology industry – IndyStar

September 22, 2022

In today’s interconnected world, the future of America’s leadership on the global stage lies in innovation. Every day we face new crisis after new crisis — bare grocery store shelves due to supply chain disruptions, multiple global health threats, climate shocks and inflation that causes gas pump prices to skyrocket. America’s global leadership is more important now than ever to combat these complex global threats, and we know that investing in innovation and technology through development and diplomacy is key to advancing America’s interests.
As Hoosiers, we know the vital importance of innovative global leadership and how that impacts us here at home. Last year, Indiana companies exported $41.2 billion in goods, which helped support nearly 750,000 jobs in the state. That’s hundreds of thousands of families just in Indiana who benefit from America’s leadership on the global stage. Especially amid the disruptions of the past two years, we can see that ingenuity and resilience help support our state’s economy, which exported 16% more in goods in 2021 than in 2020. But what we can also see is how important digital technology is not only to our daily lives but to American global leadership through development and diplomacy.
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The United States is responding to the need for modernized foreign assistance and in April 2020, the U.S. Agency International Development (USAID) launched its first-ever Digital Strategy. Two years later, the strategy is already delivering results, from combating COVID-19 and corruption to leveraging digital technologies that empower farmers to employ more sustainable growing practices. Strengthening digital transformation and modernization efforts through USAID and other government agencies devoted to development, diplomacy and foreign policy helps chart a vision for humanitarian assistance that is innovative and can respond to the imminent global crisis.
In fact, Indiana has been a vital partner in modernized solutions for addressing the growing global hunger crisis. Purdue University implements the U.S. Borlaug Fellows in Global Food Security program, which is funded by USAID. Through this program, U.S. scientists are helping address global food security through innovation, technology and knowledge building to aid developing countries. Participants of the program — scientists, researchers, policymakers in the U.S. — improve their understanding of agricultural science and foster science-based trade policies that open market access for U.S. agricultural products abroad. Through this partnership, Purdue University is investing in digital technology solutions that can impact the global hunger crisis as well as help Indiana’s agricultural products find a market in international trade.
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We also know that the United States must remain at the forefront of emerging technologies and innovation, especially as China aims to set the global standards for the next generation of technologies. Here in Indiana, our fast-growing tech industry, now supporting over 87,000 jobs and contributing $16.4 billion to the Indiana economy, is exceptionally positioned for global leadership. With this opportunity, it’s imperative that both policymakers and innovators understand the critical emerging technologies to make informed policy decisions and address America’s competitiveness. Because of these efforts, the state of Indiana and the United States will continue to benefit from “tech diplomacy” and ensure America maintains its digital leadership to take on foreign competitors and malign actors.
Indiana partnerships and initiatives with USAID and others would not be possible without America’s leadership on technological innovation in development and diplomacy. That’s why we urge the entire Indiana congressional delegation to support a strong and robust International Affairs Budget to defend America’s interests through diplomatic and development leadership.
Amid global crises, we are at an inflection point and must leverage our digital leadership to ensure America remains competitive and can address the threats of today and tomorrow. Whether its food insecurity, global supply chains, energy and climate challenges, or modern technology issues, America is poised to be the global leader for an innovative future where everyone, including us Hoosiers, benefit. From our education to our exports, Indiana’s prosperity is linked to America leading globally. And when America wins, Hoosiers win.
Bonnie Glick is director of the Krach Institute for Tech Diplomacy at Purdue University. Martin Baier is the president and CEO of The International Center, Honorary Consul of France to Indiana and a member of the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition’s Indiana Advisory Committee.


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