Center for Technology and Innovation

Perm⁠i⁠ss⁠i⁠onless Innova⁠t⁠⁠i⁠on: A Pro-Grow⁠t⁠h Pol⁠i⁠cy V⁠i⁠s⁠i⁠on and Plan for Flor⁠i⁠da

By: Andrea O’Sullivan / 2021

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By Andrea O’Sullivan

Director, Center for Technology and Innovation, The James Madison Institute

Florida has the ingredients and appetite to be a leader in technology and innovation. We have a reasonable tax system and well-managed government. We have a large population of high-skilled workers. Our natural beauty is unparalleled, and our university system is world-class. To leverage these assets and best position the Sunshine State to attract more investment and talent, legislators should embrace a policy position of “permissionless innovation.”

Policymakers can undertake one of two polar approaches when it comes to technology policy. They can either hew to the “precautionary principle,” which requires entrepreneurs to seek approval from a government board before being allowed to experiment with new ways of doing things. Or they can create an environment of permissionless innovation, which allows tinkerers to learn and build free from onerous regulations by default.

If you welcome innovation, you will get more of it. If you make it harder to innovate, progress will stagnate. Florida policymakers who wish to welcome growth and dynamism would be wise to review our policy environment to determine what kind of culture we have and make smart reforms to bring forth the pro-innovation state we desire.[1]

This policy brief will explain what permissionless innovation is and the concrete steps that Florida policymakers can take to embrace it. Specific issue areas for reforms will be discussed. Finally, we will explore general regulatory reform tools that can protect a pro-innovation code.

[1] Christopher Koopman and Sal Nuzzo, “Innovation and Regulation in Florida: A Framework for Permissionless

Innovation,” The James Madison Institute, March 27, 2019,