The eInnovation and ICT Interoperability Project explores the relationship between innovation and ICT interoperability, seeking to understand the costs, benefits and potential means of achieving the latter.
Three case studies explore ways of developing and sustaining interoperability
While we conducted research into numerous areas of the ICT ecosystem, we have largely based our analysis on three in-depth case studies: DRM-protected music, Digital ID, and Mashups. In each case, we explore several possible ways of developing and sustaining interoperability and assess the potential of each to spur innovation. Through discussions with hundreds of experts, market actors, and other researchers in the field, we have acquired a more nuanced understanding regarding interoperability.
No “silver bullet” to achieving interoperability
There is no “silver bullet” to achieving interoperability, nor is there an optimal level of interoperability that can be applied to all ICT situations. Rather, a case-by-case analysis of the market and incentive structures, technological landscape, and involvement of governments, among other things, is necessary to understand what approaches may be most useful to a given technology or industry. As a policy matter, we tend to prefer open standards processes where they are feasible, but in some cases less broad-based action, such as a market leader releasing technological interfaces or licensing its technology, is easier and more effective in spurring innovation. While we are generally wary of government intervention, we recognize that there are situations where market failures make state action appropriate, usually intervention after the fact to break open legal or market-based bottlenecks that stifle innovation.