Harvard Law School’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society today announced a new project to create public policies that support digital entrepreneurship. The project, Open Economies, will support developing nations seeking to embrace digital technology and digitally-enabled entrepreneurship as a means to economic development.

“We are focusing on the regulatory environment affecting small and medium-sized enterprises in developing nations,” said James Moore, a senior fellow at the Berkman Center and author of the best-selling book The Death of Competition: Leadership and Strategy in the Age of Business Ecosystems. “The idea is to build a virtual policy center to help developing nations create public policy that supports these enterprises.”

The Open Economies project will work with government and businesses leaders to design and implement policies that foster digital entrepreneurship around the world. The project received a grant from Hewlett-Packard as part of the company’s World e-Inclusion Initiative, which seeks business opportunities that extend information technology to the world’s developing nations and rural poor.

“The Open Economies project reflects the Berkman Center’s collaboration and hands-on approach. It aims to facilitate the engagement of previously excluded communities and groups in the creative process of dialogue and policy making,” said Eric Saltzman, executive director of the center. “The project will enable us to both advance our research into Internet law and public policy, and contribute to bridging the digital divide.”

Hewlett Packard is active in promoting digital entrepreneurship. Chairman and CEO Carly Fiorina is the US industry representative to the G-8 created Digital Opportunity Task Force. HP is also participating in the United Nations Information and Communication Technology Task Force, whose mission is to help bridge the global digital divide between developed and developing countries.

“HP believes that digital entrepreneurship is a critical means for accelerated economic growth and a key contributor to poverty alleviation,” explained Gary Fazzino, HP’s vice president for government and public affairs. “The work with the Berkman Center is ideally situated to create the necessary policies for an environment that encourages digital entrepreneurship.”

“We aim to bring together academic, business, government, and non-profit organizations and leaders to collaborate on advancing development goals,” said Berkman Center senior fellow Jim Moore. “We encourage all those interested in becoming a part of the project to visit us at our Open Economies website.”

The Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard Law School is a non-profit entrepreneurial research program founded in 1997 to explore and understand cyberspace. It recently partnered with MIT and Harvard’s Center for International Development for “eDevelopment,” a multinational conference that brought together policymakers to explore strategies for using information and communication technologies to spur economic growth in communities worldwide.