Strategic Planning Document -
Transportation R&D

III. Conclusion

The National Science and Technology Council is focused on establishing clear national goals for Federal science and technology investments and to ensure that science, space, and technology policies are developed and implemented to effectively contribute to those national goals. The intensity of this high level effort to examine R&D across the Federal government and to foster a solid working relationship with the private sector is unprecedented. Through this interagency process, overlapping and duplicative research will be avoided and technology policy will be given a higher profile.

Transportation is affected by the activities of many agencies, and is largely a private-sector activity. Further, agencies participating commonly emphasized that, even given the importance of the priorities noted, ongoing R&D activities to support specific mission responsibilities is also essential and offers very limited opportunities, at best, for reprogramming. In some cases, formulation of R&D policy and actual priorities must wait upon the shaping of broader Federal policies concerning infrastructure investments and the proper allocation of responsibilities among various levels of government and the private sector. As a result, delineation of the appropriate Federal R&D role, the part to be played by each agency, and how these are to be coordinated with the private sector and state and local governments, is a very complex process. At this point, the goals identified by the Committee are very broad, plans for specific initiatives are not sharply defined, relative priorities have not been set, and budget implications have yet to be identified. In 1995 the Committee will focus on bringing more precise definition to these areas, and to establishment of priorities among the many important topics described above.