Assistant to the President for Science and Technology
1993 Technology Summit
Berkeley Ro undtable on the International Economy
November 4, 1993
THE BET ON COMMERCIAL TECHNOLOGY
Good morning. It's a great pleasure to be here at the BRIE TechnologySummit. I will describe for you the Clinto n/Gore Administration's technologypolicy -- a policy indicative of an entirely new vision of the federalgovernment's relationship to the commercial technology sector.
This Administration understands we can only achieve the country's goals inpartner ship between the private and public sectors. A safe, plentiful foodsupply and a healthy population can only be produced by the private sector.Industries that provide good jobs, generate products that competeinternationally, and do so with minimal impa ct on the environment will be theresult of private efforts. To maintain our national security in the post-ColdWar era, the government must work in tandem with the companies that form thebackbone of our defense effort.
The Clinton/Gore Administrati on has embraced the symbiosis that must existbetween the Federal Government and the commercial technology sector if thisNation is to prosper. In conjunction with the private sector, we aredeveloping dual use and civilian technology programs directed t oward nationalgoals. Working with Congress we are creating a business climate conducive totechnological innovation -- through changes in tax, trade, and regulatorypolicies. Education and training -- sharing federal expertise with State andlocal prog rams -- has taken on a new prominence throughout the government. Weare strengthening our investments in basic science, mathematics, andengineering research to create a knowledge base that ensures new opportunitiesfor this and future generations.
Our initiatives focus American science and technology on 3 central goals:
-- Long-term economic growth that creates jobs and protects the environment;
-- Making government more efficient and more responsive;
-- World leadership in basic scie nce, mathematics, and engineering.
We are moving in a new direction that recognizes the critical role technologymust play in stimulating and sustaining the long-term economic growth thatcreates high-quality jobs and protects our environment. We ca n no longer relyon the serendipitous application of defense technology to the civil sector. Wemust aim directly at our goals and focus our efforts on the new opportunitiesbefore us, recognizing that government has a legitimate and key role inenabling private firms to develop and profit from innovations.
The technology initiatives espoused by the Administration encompass manyefforts to aid industries in developing and using new technologies, throughpolicies that encourage investment and innovati on, and by funding newpartnerships and by increasing access to government laboratories andinformation. This represents a critical change of course for the UnitedStates. Compared to Japan and our other competitors, government support forcivilian tech nology development has been minimal in the United States.
The plan evinces our belief that with the end of the Cold War, the biggestchallenge for our country is no longer the threat of global military conflict,but the economic challenge to restore U .S. competitiveness and raise livingstandards for all Americans. The technology initiatives reflect a two-fold --short- and long-term -- approach to defense conversion.
Workers and communities that have lost some of their economic lifeblood due to the end of the Cold War deserve first class help in the form of retraining,reemployment, and community economic redevelopment programs. R&D programsthat support dual use technologies have an important place in PresidentClinton's vision. He has an nounced his intention to shift from the presentratio in Federal R&D spending, which is 41 percent civilian and 59 percentmilitary, to more than 50 percent civilian and dual use by 1998.
We've already anted-up in the commercial technology game. Here are someexamples:
We've forged a historic alliance with the nation's big three automakers todevelop a new generation of high performance cars and trucks that areaffordable and virtually pollution free. This 10-year technical collaboration with industry is a huge technological challenge -- an Apollo mission on theground -- but promises huge payoffs for all parties -- the people get goodjobs, a healthier local and global environment, less dependence on foreign oil,and the industry gets ma rket share.
We've reorganized ARPA and launched the Technology Reinvestment project tostimulate the transition from defense to dual use technologies that have bothmilitary and civilian applications. President Clinton has already announcedthe first 41 awards and additional ones will be announced this month. Wereceived TRP proposals from teams representing more than 12,000 companies,universities and local governments. Significantly, they offered over $8.5billion in matching private funds in comp etition for a relatively modestfederal investment of $470 million.
We've expanded threefold the Advanced Technology Project to promote industry'sdevelopment of high-risk, high payoff commercial technologies. ATP explicitlyabandons the outdated emph asis on military spinoffs and focuses directly oncivilian economic and environmental objectives.
We've initiated a network of manufacturing extension centers across the nationto assist small and medium-sized manufacturers, many of whom are still usi ng1950's technologies. These centers disseminate to manufacturers information andtechnical assistance on new technologies and best practices.
We've redesigned the space station to make it more effective, and in doing sowe're redesigning NASA. The money we've freed up will help finance importantresearch needs, for example, in aeronautics.
We've developed an action plan for the National Information Infrastructure andordered the transfer of 200 MHz of spectrum from the federal government to th eprivate sector to help commercialization of new wireless technologies. We'vemade information technology a cornerstone of our effort to "reinventgovernment."
While Federal technology programs are important, they cannot succeed withoutchange i n other government policies that affect the "seed ground" forindividual innovation. Many existing fiscal, trade, and regulatory policiesstymie rather than encourage investment in new technologies and new products.The Administration intends to change t hat. Already we've:
Gotten a 3-year extension of the Research and Experimentation (R&E) taxcredit, and we're working to make it permanent. We've also secured a reducedcapital gains tax for investments in small businesses.
Liberalized e xport controls on computers and telecommunications that will freeup $35 billion in high-tech exports.
Aggressively pursuing bilateral and multilateral trade agreements such asNAFTA, U.S.-Japan, and the Uruguay Round of GATT that will expand access t oforeign markets for America's industry. Approval of NAFTA by the Congress laterthis month will be a major victory in the quest to make the United States morecompetitive in world markets.
We are making major changes in federal procurement policies to make governmenta better, smarter customer for commercial goods.
Business leaders all know that productivity and profits depend upon havingversatile, well-trained employees. For that reason, the Administration iscommitted to helping all Amer icans have access to world-class educational andworker training programs. We intend to:
(1) Expand access to the Internet computer network to connect moreuniversities, community colleges, and high schools to each other and to a broadrange of inform ation resources.
(2) Help establish software and communications standards for education andtraining; coordinate the development of critical software elements; collectinformation resources in a standardized format and make them available toschools an d teaching centers using national communications networks.
(3) Transfer some of the education and training technology developed by themilitary to the civilian sector so that it can be used in our schools,factories, and offices.
These examples of our plans and our accomplishments portray a decisive startover the past ten short months. But there is much more to do. And it won't beeasy.
The Clinton-Gore Administration has inherited a $4 trillion debt produced bytwelve years of borrow and spend policies. For the sake of long-term economicgrowth and our children's future, we have to draw down that still-growing debtand use the limited resources more effectively.
We are forced to choose our R&D investments more carefully, putt ing aspecial premium on technologies that will spur long-term economic growth. Wewill have to leverage private R&D investments with federal funds asefficiently as possible.
To maximize our options to adapt to a changing world and to create opportunities for future generations, we must continue our strong funding ofbasic research. We intend to prepare the seedbed for future technologies evenas we harvest and preserve the fruits of past investments.
To coordinate the federal invest ment in science and technology, thePresident intends to implement a key recommendation of the National PerformanceReview and establish a cabinet-level National Science and Technology Council.The President will chair the Council, which will include the Vice President,Cabinet Secretaries and agency heads with responsibility for significantscience and technology programs, and key White House Officials. The Councilwill set priorities to ensure that science, space, and technology policies andprograms a re developed and implemented to effectively contribute to nationalgoals.
One of the most critical tasks the NSTC will undertake is preparation of anintegrated overview of federal spending on research and development. TheCouncil will prepare coordi nated R&D budget recommendations foraccomplishing national research objectives in areas such as health, food andhuman safety, civilian industrial technology, national security, internationalscience and technology, education and training, and founda tional science andengineering programs. These recommendations will focus on broad goals ratherthan agency missions. The Council will also oversee sector-specificinitiatives. For instance, the Clean Car Initiative announced in Septemberfalls within the scope of the NSTC's work on civilian industrial technology.Ad hoc working groups of the NSTC will also address issues such as space launchpolicy and convergence of military and civilian weather satellitecapabilities.
The President will also est ablish a new President's Committee on Science andTechnology to ensure private sector advice to the NSTC. Private sectorinvolvement with the Council will be essential. The Clinton/GoreAdministration has premised many of its plans for national revitali zation onthe concept of public/private partnerships. Our goal for this science andtechnology advisory committee is to help create those partnerships. We willrely on the Committee to nourish the links to the private sector necessary tohelp navigate f ederal investments in science and technology toward nationalgoals.
These changes in governance are the mark of a President and Vice Presidentconvinced of, and committed to, the tremendous power of science and technologyto keep our country growing a nd prospering; to help businesses make a profitwhile causing less pollution; to create an effective school-to-work system thatprepares young people for high-skill, high-wage jobs and workplace trainingwhich enables workers to adapt to new technologies without missing a beat--or apaycheck.
With your help, we can meet the challenge laid down by the President: toembrace science and technology as a ubiquitous mechanism to improve the qualityof life, enhance our economic strength, and sustain our