BRIE was founded on one simple premise: that there can be no long-term low-tech prosperity for the American economy. Continued leadership in the development, production, and use of new technologies here in the United States is the key to America's economic health. Through such landmark publications as Manufacturing Matters, BRIE research has shown that national comparative advantage is created not revealed, that high-tech trade patterns are massively influenced by domestic policies, that what a nation produces and trades – the composition of domestic production – matters mightily for its growth and security.
The high quality of its research and writing has earned BRIE the respect of business and both sides of the aisle in Washington. In 1984, BRIE drafted for President Reagan's Commission on Industrial Competitiveness what is now the commonly accepted definition of competitiveness. In 1993, President Clinton appointed one of BRIE's directors, Laura D'Andrea Tyson, to chair the President's Council of Economic Advisers and later to head the White House National Economic Council.
BRIE's current findings suggest that profoundly new approaches to production and organization are combining with the rapid, pervasive spread of information technologies to create radically new forms of international competition. Though the new forms of competition create dramatic new potential for economic growth and job creation, they also threaten to generate new stresses in the uneasy relationship between industry, society and government. Such findings are reflected in BRIE's on-going analyses of industrial production and market competition in Asia, Europe and the U.S., and in its assessments of the changing patterns of global trade and investment, of China's economic ascent, and of the economic impacts of the development and use of new technologies such as advanced information networks.
All BRIE research is firmly grounded in a detailed, real-world understanding of technologies, markets, strategies and policies. Our research typically starts from an examination of specific case studies of industries and institutions – who is doing what, who is winning and losing in the market and why – before generalizing to hypotheses, which are tested in further case studies. On that base of detailed casework, we build the broader analyses that influence policy and strategy.