The Foundation for Our Future
Economic Growth and Prosperity
"Investing in technology is investing in America's future: a growing economy with more high-skill, high-wage jobs for American workers; a cleaner environment where energy efficiency increases profits and reduces pollution; a stronger, more competitive private sector able to maintain U.S. leadership in critical world markets; an education system where every student is challenged; and an inspired scientific and technological research community focused on ensuring not just our national security, but our very quality of life."
--President Bill Clinton
Technological leadership is vital to the national interests of the United States. As we enter the twenty-first century, our ability to harness the power and promise of leading-edge advances in technology will determine, in large measure, our national prosperity, security, and global influence, and with them the standard of living and quality of life of our people.
The United States has an unmatched capability for technological innovation - an unparalleled R&D enterprise; a world-class cadre of scientists and engineers; the world's most diverse manufacturing base and productive workforce; a broad and technologically sophisticated service sector; and a climate and culture that encourage competition, risk-taking, and entrepreneurship. These assets have positioned the United States to maintain its global technological leadership in the 21st century.
TECHNOLOGY AND THE U.S. ECONOMY
Technology is the single most important determining factor in sustained economic growth, estimated to account for as much as half the nation's growth over the past 50 years. In fact, America's research-intensive industries - aerospace, chemicals, communications equipment, computers and office equipment, pharmaceuticals, scientific instruments, semiconductors, and software - have been growing at about twice the rate of the economy as a whole over the past two decades.
TECHNOLOGY AND AMERICA'S
New technologies are improving the quality of life for all Americans. Medical research in pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, and medical devices helps us lead healthier lives and offers new hope for the sick. Environmental research brings better monitoring, prevention, and remediation technologies. Advanced monitoring and forecasting technologies - from satellites to simulation - are helping to save lives and minimize property damage caused by hurricanes, blizzards, microbursts, and other severe weather. Sophisticated traffic management systems for land, sea, and air transportation enable the smooth and timely movement of more people and goods.
THE FEDERAL MISSION
For more than 200 years, the Federal government has played a vital role in developing a scientific and technological infrastructure that has substantially contributed to U.S. economic growth and to the competitive success of American industry. Federal research has given birth to new industries, such as computers and biotechnology, and propelled U.S. firms into a leadership position in other industries, including agriculture, aerospace, telecommunications, and pharmaceuticals. Federal research has also made possible many other contributions to American life - from better tasting frozen orange juice and highly absorbent disposable diapers to vaccines for malaria and closed-captioned television for the deaf.
EMERGING TECHNOLOGY ISSUES
The Administration's technology programs reflect the challenges and opportunities as a new century begins.
THE INFORMATION AGE
No technology promises to affect our world more profoundly than the rapid sweep of digital technology. Every sector of our economy - manufacturing and services, transportation, health care, education, and government - is being transformed by the power of information technologies to create new products and services and new ways to communicate, resulting in significant improvements in productivity and knowledge sharing.
Technology has become a global enterprise and the United States faces tough competitors worldwide. Support for research and technology development remains strong in the advanced industrial nations, such as Japan and countries of the European Union. In July 1996, for example, the Japanese Cabinet approved a proposal to spend $155 billion on government science and technology programs over the next five years - of this sum, 95 percent is targeted at civilian technologies. If these plans are implemented, Japanese government expenditures on civilian R&D will soon exceed U.S. funding in absolute terms.
SHIFTS IN THE NATION'S R&D PORTFOLIO
For much of this century, America's premiere private sector laboratories played a major role in the advancement of new technologies in their early stages. Today, however, competitive pressures have driven many companies to emphasize near-term product development and process improvements that support their market strategies and the bottom lines of their business units. This kind of R&D focus has proven successful for many companies in the short term, however, it comes at the expense of basic and applied research, and threatens to reduce the pool of enabling and emerging technologies from which our country must draw in the future to remain competitive.
THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT'S R&D BUDGET
The Administration has taken care to develop plans to balance the Federal budget without compromising our nation's investments in the future. We recognize that our ability to achieve an array of social goals and maintain our standard of living requires a strong economy that depends on sustaining the Federal investment in R&D. Historically, these investments have led to many of the new ideas, insights, and innovations the private sector needs to generate growth and jobs.
PRESIDENT CLINTON'S TECHNOLOGY POLICY
In February 1993, President Clinton set forth his vision for a national technology policy in Technology for America's Economic Growth: A New Direction to Build Economic Strength. This policy - a core element of the Administration's strategy for long-term economic growth - outlines measures to ensure America's global technological leadership into the next century.
These initiatives will help ensure that technology remains our engine of economic growth, creating high-wage jobs in the United States and improving the standard of living and quality of life for our people.
CREATING A HEALTHY BUSINESS ENVIRONMENT
The primary role of the Federal government in technology policy is to create a business environment in which the innovative and competitive efforts of the private sector can flourish. This role includes eliminating unnecessary legal, regulatory, and economic barriers to the development and commercialization of new technologies; assessing the impact of proposed laws and regulations on U.S. competitiveness; and developing new policies that foster innovation.
ECONOMIC POLICY. Fiscal policies affect the cost and availability of capital that firms need to invest in technology, product development, and manufacturing. By cutting the deficit and balancing the budget, government borrows less, freeing capital for these private sector investments. The Clinton Administration has made great strides in reducing the Federal budget deficit and has proposed a viable plan to balance the budget while maintaining our investments for the future in areas such as science, technology, training, and modern infrastructure. The Administration proposed permanently extending the research and experimentation tax credit in 1993 to provide an incentive for American firms to invest in the new technologies that will underpin tomorrow's products and services. The Administration continues to support the credit and has proposed working with Congress to extend it.
REGULATORY POLICY. The Administration has taken care to reform Federal regulations in a way that achieves goals in the environment, public health and safety, consumer protection and other areas with the lowest possible burden to businesses. The Administration has already instituted reforms that streamlined regulatory paperwork and eliminated unnecessary regulatory barriers. It has worked to ensure that regulations encourage, instead of stifle, the development of innovative technologies which can meet both public and business objectives.
TRADE POLICY. The Administration has also placed heavy emphasis on ensuring fair competition for U.S. technology products in international markets. Fair access to world markets is essential for most technologically innovative U.S. firms. Export controls on key telecommunication, supercomputer, and other products have been rewritten in ways that open billions of dollars worth of international markets to U.S. high-technology firms.
The Federal government must encourage the development, commercialization, and use of technology. It must invest in nascent technologies that offer large economic and social returns to the nation. Federal policy must ensure that the fruits of Federal research extend beyond government and help U.S. firms create high-wage jobs and national economic growth. And the Federal government -in partnership with state and local governments, the academic community, and the private sector -can continue to cultivate a range of mechanisms that encourage widespread deployment and use of technology.
FEDERAL TECHNOLOGY PARTNERSHIPS. During the past decade, the process by which Federally funded technology makes its way to the private sector for commercial use has been substantially improved. In addition to technology spin-off - in which technology developed to meet Federal mission requirements is later adapted for commercial markets - the Federal government is now working hand-in-hand with industry, combining resources to achieve common technology objectives.
ADVANCED TECHNOLOGY PROGRAM. The Commerce Department's Advanced Technology Program (ATP) addresses the problem of developing enabling and emerging technologies by sharing the costs and risks with the private sector. ATP forms partnerships with companies and joint ventures that have the greatest potential for meeting the primary objective of the program: developing technologies to achieve broad-based economic benefits with high rates of social return for the nation.
The Auto Body Consortium (ABC): A 1992 ATP award catalyzed the formation of this partnership involving a group of eight small- and medium-sized automobile technology suppliers, together with Chrysler, General Motors, and two universities in the "2 mm Program." They have developed new manufacturing technologies, practices, and training techniques capable of controlling variations in the fit of automobile body parts to 2 millimeters - about the thickness of a nickel - or less. The ABC technologies are not only effective, they are "agile" - readily adapted to other industries involved with the automated assembly of sheet metal parts. These technologies have been implemented at several assembly plants - already resulting in significant improvements in customer satisfaction scores.
AERONAUTICS. Aeronautical research and technology play a vital role in promoting U.S. economic growth and national security. The challenges facing this $15 billion industry include growth in air traffic, demanding environmental standards, an aging aircraft fleet, and foreign competition. The continued safety and productivity of the nation's air transportation system and future U.S. competitiveness in aeronautics depend on national investments in aeronautical research and technology.
The jet fighter cockpit is one of the most complex workplaces for any human operator. Early WWI combat aircraft contained only the most basic flight instruments, but the number of controls and displays has risen dramatically over the years. Today, a combat pilot has to integrate a tremendous number of discrete pieces of information into a complete "picture' of the battlefield in order to successfully accomplish the mission. The next generation of cockpit technology will include Helmet Mounted and Wide Area Displays that will automate the data fusing process for enhanced battlefield awareness and aircraft operability.
To help meet these challenges, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA) Aeronautics Enterprise identifies and develops high pay-off aeronautics technologies, and helps commercialize successful applications. This enterprise works closely with U.S. industry, universities, the Department of Defense, and the
Federal Aviation Administration to coordinate R&D investments and to ensure that NASA's technology products and services add value and are developed to the level at which customers can confidently make decisions regarding the applications of those technologies. Additionally, under the Space Act, NASA has established more than 3,500 partnerships with industry.
PARTNERSHIP FOR A NEW GENERATION OF VEHICLES. In the Partnership for a New Generation of Vehicles (PNGV), seven Federal agencies and 20 national laboratories have partnered with the Big Three automobile manufacturers and more than 400 suppliers to achieve R&D goals in three areas: advanced manufacturing methods; technologies that can lead to near-term improvements in automobile efficiency, safety, and emissions; and research that could lead to vehicle prototypes with a threefold improvement in fuel efficiency. These super-fuel-efficient family-sedan-size vehicles should cost no more to own or operate than today's cars; offer comparable performance, roominess, and utility; and meet or exceed all safety and emissions standards.
The Partnership for a New Generation of Vehicles is a cooperative effort between the Federal government and the automobile industry to foster breakthrough technologies in personal vehicles. The goal is a production prototype vehicle capable of 80 miles per gallon by 2004. The program has identified areas of technical potential to reduce vehicle weight by 40 percent, to more than double energy conversion efficiency, and to lower aerodynamic drag and rolling resistance by up to 30 percent. This Ford Synergy 2010, a new concept car exploring the technological frontiers, was unveiled in Detroit at the 1996 North American International Auto Show.
HIGH PERFORMANCE COMPUTING AND COMMUNICATIONS. The Federal High Performance Computing and Communications (HPCC) Program observed its fifth anniversary in October 1996 with an impressive array of accomplishments to its credit. Throughout its existence, the HPCC Program has conducted long-term research and development in advanced computing, communications, and information technologies, and in ways to apply those technologies to the missions of the participating Federal departments and agencies. The use of advanced information technologies across the Federal government and throughout the economy demonstrates the significant impact of the HPCC Program.
Large Scale Networking: to assure U.S. technological leadership in high performance network communications through advances in networking technologies, services, and performance.
High Confidence Systems: to develop technologies that provide users with high levels of security, protection of privacy and data, reliability, and restorability of information services.
Human Centered Systems: to make computing and networking more useful through collaboratories, technologies that provide knowledge from distributed repositories, multi-modal interactive systems, and virtual reality environments.
Education, Training, and Human Resources: to support research that enables modern education and training technologies, including technologies that support lifelong and distance learning, and curriculum development.
Federal R&D in advanced computing, communications, and information technology contributes enormously to U.S. leadership in the Information Age.
Precision hard turning may replace grinding with a more agile, environmentally friendly process. Hard turning uses cubic boron nitride, the next hardest material to diamond, to machine hardened steels to near mirror finishes. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) research on this technology investigates fundamentals of tool wear and new approaches to extending the range of materials that can be machined. NIST's findings point the way to improvements in tool design and material selection. Unlike grinding, hard turning requires no coolants, so there are no potential harmful by-products that require disposal. Hard turning also reduces the risk to workers from inhaling coolant mist.
Scientists can better understand how nature maintains a delicate balance of atmospheric gases, using pictures like these, and can begin to understand the impact of human activity on that balance. Sophisticated computer simulations help scientists understand how air is mixed in the atmosphere, a process of critical importance for both environmental and meteorological studies. Naturally occurring nitrous oxide can be used as a tracer, since its concentration changes very little through the outer reaches of the troposphere. It is measured here along a surface of constant potential temperature (q), a marker for altitude. Lower densities of nitrous oxide, denoted by the blue swirls, indicate mixing of the ozone-depleted stratospheric air.
MANUFACTURING EXTENSION PARTNERSHIP. New manufacturing technologies and approaches are available that can lead to dramatic improvements in product quality, cost, and time-to-market. With the exception of a few market leaders, most of America's 381,000 small- and medium-sized manufacturers have been slow to adopt these new technologies and approaches. These establishments form the backbone of the U.S. industrial base and represent about 95 percent of U.S. manufacturing plants. Millions of jobs rest on their competitive performance.
CONSTRUCTION AND BUILDING. A public-private cooperative research program has been established to develop and deliver high performance construction materials and systems, advanced information systems addressing industry needs, automation for construction processes and constructed facilities, knowledge needed for productivity and safety, and measures of effectiveness for construction technology.
INDUSTRIES OF THE FUTURE. The Department of Energy's
Industry of the Future Program targets sustainable economic growth and environmental improvements. DOE is working in close partnership with America's energy-intensive industries - steel, chemicals, forest and paper products, metal casting, glass, petroleum, aluminum, and textiles - to develop advanced manufacturing technologies for improved process and materials efficiency that will reduce the consumption of energy and resources used in production. These technologies will foster economic growth by improving manufacturing productivity while achieving environmental benefits such as pollution reduction through greater process efficiency. This approach offers large potential economic benefits - manufacturers spend about $100 billion on energy and $50 billion on pollution abatement annually. By co-funding the development of energy-efficient technologies, the Industry of the Future Program is helping to reshape the way industry sees itself and its future.
BIOTECHNOLOGY. Biotechnology promises to have a profound impact on health care, agriculture, energy, and environmental management. The development and production of biotechnology products will create thousands of new jobs, promote economic growth, and help address agricultural, environmental, and health concerns.
The Federal government must invest in a world-class infrastructure for the twenty-first century to support U.S. industry and promote commerce just as it has invested for more than a century in canals, rail transportation, aviation, and the national highway system. Today and in the future, infrastructure remains essential to the nation's ability to develop and deploy new technologies. We must continue to ensure the availability of efficient, high-performance transportation infrastructure, and continue our commitment to a national standards research, test, and measurement capability that keeps pace with technological innovations. Also, the knowledge-based economy demands that the Federal government encourage the adoption of new information technologies that will help government deliver services and meet responsibilities in transportation, public health, education, libraries, and other fields.
NATIONAL INFORMATION INFRASTRUCTURE/GLOBAL
The role of information in all facets of society is growing. For business and industry, information links producers, suppliers, service providers, freight carriers, distributors, and customers in an ever-tightening network of commercial activity. Information also ties R&D, production, and marketing into a seamless innovation process, whether these functions reside within or outside the company. Advanced technologies are essential for the efficient management and use of this information.
Today, the United States is laying the foundation for the NII which will link schools and homes, offices and factories, hospitals and clinics, and a myriad of other business, academic, and social institutions. This network will enable a colossal leap in knowledge sharing, which will in turn propel scientific inquiry and discovery, business productivity, transportation system performance, and the education of our citizenry.
Private firms are leading this revolution today through the development and deployment of the NII. Nevertheless, there remain essential roles for government in this process. Carefully crafted government actions will complement and enhance the efforts of the private sector and ensure the growth of an information infrastructure available to all Americans at reasonable cost.
To help communities and nonprofit organizations enter the Information Age, the Commerce Department's Telecommunications Information Infrastructure Assistance Program provides competitively awarded matching grants to school districts, libraries, state and local governments, health care providers, universities, and other nonprofit organizations to connect institutions to existing networks, to enhance those networks, and to permit users to interconnect among different networks.
In March 1994, Vice President Gore introduced the U.S. vision for an international corollary to the NII - the Global Information Infrastructure (GII) - at a meeting of the International Telecommunication Union in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Because information crosses state, regional, and national boundaries, coordination is important to avoid the establishment of unnecessary obstacles and to eliminate unfair policies that handicap U.S. industry. Like the vision for the NII, the GII is directed at promoting competition, creating flexible regulatory policies, ensuring universal service, and providing open access to the network for all information providers and users.
INTELLIGENT TRANSPORTATION INITIATIVE
Forty years ago, the Federal government paved the way for a better life for future generations by creating the Federal interstate highway system. As the twenty-first century approaches, the U.S. Department of Transportation is looking to use advanced technology to build the transportation infrastructure needed to improve the lives and mobility of future generations.
Computer simulations, like the finite element model shown here at the National Crash Analysis Center, save time, money and lives by accurately predicting the results of high energy impacts. Supercomputing resources - hardware, software, and expertise - found in many of our national laboratories allow engineers to design better safeguards for automobile passengers.
Building the ITI does not mean burdening communities with excessive costs. The Administration will encourage private sector partners to invest in infrastructure projects, allowing states to count private sector funds toward their required share of construction project funding. Moreover, Federal transportation funding to states can be used to build almost all of the ITI. Through a program called Operation TimeSaver, the government will advise communities on the most efficient way to use their existing funds to meet their program goals.
Freeway management systems to improve traffic flow on high-volume highways by adjusting ramp metering rates, variable message signs, and highway advisory radio messages based on real-time traffic surveillance.
Transit management systems to manage bus operations based on real-time location information.
Incident management programs to identify and quickly respond to vehicle accidents or breakdowns with appropriate emergency services, and restore roadways to full service.
Electronic fare payment systems to consolidate all transit and parking transactions onto one electronic card for user convenience and to provide centralized information to transit agency managers.
Electronic toll collection systems to allow payment without stopping.
Regional multi-modal traveler information Centers to collect, analyze, and distribute accurate, reliable, and timely travel information to travelers and business carriers when and where requested.
Railroad grade crossings safety systems which use in-vehicle warning systems when approaching a railroad crossing to encourage safe driving behavior by focusing driver attention on the danger of trains.
Emergency management services to save lives and improve security through immediate notification of the precise location of accidents and breakdowns.
GLOBAL POSITIONING SYSTEM
The Global Positioning System (GPS) is a dual-use navigation technology composed of two dozen satellites and a sophisticated ground tracking system. It has become a vital component of our National Information Infrastructure, providing precise terrestrial and airborne location for both civilian and military users. Today, the market for GPS receivers already exceeds $1 billion per year; 80,000 to 100,000 units are sold each month, far exceeding the original forecast of the entire armed service procurement.
Added layers of accuracy, reliability, and integrity of position information result in safer air travel. The Wide Area Augmentation System of the Global Positioning System (GPS) will improve GPS accuracy from 100 meters to less than ten meters. Data from a sophisticated network of ground reference stations flows to a master station, then via a communications satellite to aircraft which incorporate error-correcting messages in their position fixes to increase accuracy.
GPS is being promoted as the backbone of a new Global Navigation Satellite System that will form a worldwide seamless airway in the twenty-first century. The U.S. Coast Guard is already operating a precise GPS service, known as differential GPS, around the U.S. coast and the Great Lakes for marine applications. This system is being expanded to cover the entire U.S. landmass and is being duplicated around the world for marine and other precise positioning applications.
STANDARDS AND MEASUREMENTS PROGRAM
Measurements and standards are indispensable to the nation's industrial foundation and ability to conduct commerce. The Commerce Department's National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) helps fulfill this responsibility through its world-class laboratory programs. NIST works with U.S. industry in areas such as manufacturing, materials, electronics, chemical processing, construction, and information technology. It focuses on measurement methods, standards, data evaluation, and test methods. NIST also works with national and international standards-setting organizations to stimulate U.S. commerce and help U.S. industry understand and comply with foreign standards, regulations, and procedures.
NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH
Among the many fields of R&D, medicine is one of the very few in which the results of exploratory research are often directly applicable to the development of new products. In other fields, it may take decades to translate such research results into their ultimate uses. NIH has identified five broad research areas that are especially rich in scientific opportunity. These research areas are likely to be exceptionally productive in the near future, yielding knowledge that will contribute in many ways to improved health and quality of life for the nation.
INTERNATIONAL RESEARCH AND
An area of increasing interest to the United States is the globalization of research and development, as multinational corporations internationalize their research operations and locate more of their R&D abroad (including foreign firms conducting R&D in the United States), and as U.S. firms increasingly look to foreign firms as partners in research and technology development.
MAINTAINING U.S. LEADERSHIP IN TECHNOLOGY
The Administration has created a balanced portfolio of programs and Federal investments designed to ensure that the U.S. maintains leadership across the frontiers of science and applied sciences that lead to fundamental discoveries, technological innovation, economic growth, and job creation.
Fuel cells are an emerging power generation technology for the efficient, economical, and environmentally acceptable production of electricity. Fuel cells produce electricity by oxidizing hydrogen, which is typically "reformed" from natural gas, coal gas, petroleum, or methane. Because there is no combustion, fuel cells create very little pollution and are extremely quiet. The combination of high efficiency and environmental compatibility has made fuel cells an attractive alternative for electric power generation.
Transportation technologies are key in the Administration's strategy for realizing energy security, economic, and environmental goals. Long-term development efforts include government-industry programs seeking breakthrough technologies capable of increasing fuel efficiency, such as this lightweight 50-kW fuel cell engine being developed by International Fuel Cells with the Department of Energy and Ford Motor Company.
One example of Federal participation in the PNGV initiative is the Department of Energy's core research program on fuel cells at Los Alamos National Laboratory, which has concentrated on the basic and applied research necessary to bring fuel cell technology to the performance and cost levels required for widespread use in transportation. A major barrier to the use of fuel cells in passenger vehicles has been the cost of the platinum required for the catalyst to achieve high power densities. Research conducted at Los Alamos yielded a membrane that needs one-sixteenth the amount of this precious metal.
Nicknamed the "radar on a chip," the micropower impulse radar (MIR) will soon be available in dozens of products. Developed by an electronics engineer working in Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory's Laser Fusion Program, the MIR harnesses the speed of light for measurements in daily life - all for about $10 - doing what used to require equipment costing $40,000. Computer chip-sized radar units will detect cars in blind spots; serve as automobile back-up warning systems; detect burglars; locate studs in walls; monitor a baby's breathing; perform search and rescue; monitor heart contractions; measure fluid levels; and turn lights, tools, and appliances on and off. And that is only the beginning: this exciting technology is expected to perform scores of other tasks. To date, 20 licenses on the MIR have been granted to 18 companies, generating $2.5 million in licensing fees and royalties.
The Next Generation Internet (NGI), a part of the President's HPCC initiative, is designed to accelerate the development of networking technologies for the twenty-first century, and sets the stage for networks that are much more powerful and versatile than today's Internet. The NGI has three goals: to connect universities and national laboratories with high-speed networks that are 100 to 1,000 times faster than today's Internet; to promote experimentation with the next generation of networking technologies; and to demonstrate new applications that meet important national goals and missions.
Giant Magnetoresistance (GMR) materials are extremely useful for ultra-high-density data storage and the detection of magnetic fields. In the near future, many of the products and devices we take for granted will be dramatically improved by this new class of magnetic materials. Originally discovered by physicists in France in 1989, GMR materials are already the focus of intense research and development efforts at companies as wide-ranging as IBM, Kodak, Sony, Toyota, and Honeywell, among many others.
Giant Magnetoresistance materials will dramatically improve our ability to store magnetic bits of information on narrower, more densely packed tracks (shown above) on computer hard disks. Five gigabits of binary information, about 90,000 pages of text, can be stored on one square inch.
Another GMR application that will be commercially available soon is the sensor that reads the magnetic information stored on computer hard disks. GMR materials make it possible to read data stored at much higher density than is possible with the conventional hard disks. Also, GMR materials could be employed in a new generation of computer chips that would retain their memory when the power is switched off. This instant-on computer technology would be valuable in a wide variety of circumstances, from ordinary PC bootups to military preparedness. Moreover, GMR materials are radiation-hard, an attractive property that could be exploited for computer memories in satellites.
The Angel Capital Electronic Network (ACE-Net) is a new resource, available on the World Wide Web, that links small business entrepreneurs in search of capital to accredited "angel" investors - wealthy individuals with business savvy. The service is spearheaded by the Small Business Administration, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), state securities regulators and their organization, and the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA). Until ACE-Net, small businesses have been severely limited in their ability to link with angels on a national basis. This innovative network will make it easier for technology companies and investors to improve their access to each other.
Entrepreneurs most likely to benefit from participation in ACE-Net are looking for $250,000-$5 million of equity type financing - amounts smaller than can typically be raised from venture capital markets. Venture capital experts estimate that each year angels invest $10 billion to $20 billion in nearly 40,000 businesses, compared to the $7.4 billion put up by venture capital funds. Details on how ACE-Net works can be obtained by visiting http://www.sbaonline.sba.gov.
In December 1996, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), in cooperation with Intel Corporation, announced the completion of the world's first 1-trillion-calculations-per-second computer - breaking the "teraflops" barrier.
The time-honored approach to breeding a disease-resistant plant variety - crossing a resistant strain with a disease-susceptible stock - can be hugely successful, but it also can take a decade or more. That timetable is being rapidly revised downward as scientists close in on the ability to quickly breed plants that resist disease. They are learning to slip the required genes into plants that are under attack, or that are even susceptible to a disease known to be making the rounds. Farmers hope these advances will help slash the billions of dollars they lose to crop disease each year ($5 billion for fungal rice blast alone in Southeast Asia, Japan, and the Philippines each year), while reducing their reliance on the chemicals widely used to fight plant disease.
New molecular biological techniques are expanding the possibilities for developing healthier, disease resistant plants. The damage caused by tobacco mosaic virus can be readily seen in the tomato plant on the right which lacks the new disease resistance gene.
Encouraged, the researchers braced for the next challenge: inserting the resistance gene for tobacco mosaic virus into a line of tomato plants which are closely related to tobacco and are unusually susceptible to the disease. The experiment worked: the plantlets, when exposed to the virus, proved to be resistant to the virus disease.
The National Medal of Science, established by Congress and administered by the National Science Foundation, honors individuals for contributions to the present state of knowledge in a variety of science frontiers. The National Medal of Technology, established by Congress and administered by the Department of Commerce, recognizes technological innovation and advancement of the nation's global competitiveness as well as ground-breaking contributions that commercialize a technology, create jobs, improve productivity or stimulate the nation's growth and development in other ways.
These men and women have devoted themselves to being the best at what they do. Their vision, their genius, their constant commitment to do their work better have made America a better place and the world a better place. They deserve the highest measure of our respect and praise, and they also deserve our support in following policies that will enable them and those who will succeed them to keep alive the burning torch of research, development, science and technology in the United States for as long as we are here.
1995 AND 1996 NATIONAL MEDALS OF SCIENCE
1996: Paul A. Samuelson; Massachusetts Institute of Technology
1996: Ruth Patrick; Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia
1995: Isabella L. Karle; U.S. Department of Navy, Naval Research Laboratory
1996: Norman Davidson; California Institute of Technology
1996: James L. Flanagan; Rutgers University
1996: C. Kumar N. Patel; University of California, Los Angeles
1996: Richard M. Karp; University of California, Berkeley and University of Washington
1996: Stephen Smale; University of California, Berkeley and City University of Hong Kong
1995: Peter Goldreich; California Institute of Technology
1996: Wallace S. Broecker; Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Columbia University
GENERAL PRODUCT AND PROCESS INNOVATION
1995: The Procter & Gamble Company
1995: Edward R. McCracken; Chairman and CEO, Silicon Graphics, Inc.
1995: Sam B. Williams; Chairman and CEO, Williams International Corporation
1996: Charles H. Kaman; Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer, Kaman Corporation
1996: Stephanie L. Kwolek; Research Chemist (Ret.) and Consultant, DuPont Company
1996: Peter H. Rose; President, Krytek Corporation
GENERAL PRODUCT AND PROCESS
1996: James C. Morgan; Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Applied Materials, Inc.