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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release April 25, 1995

John H. Gibbons, Assistant to the President for Science and Technology, announced today the initiation of an interagency review of science and technology programs to help foster better state and federal government cooperation to advance national goals. The review has been initiated in response to growing state investments in science and technology and the need to enhance state-federal partnerships to realize greater national benefits.

Speaking in Washington, Gibbons said, "This Administration is committed to investing in science and technology to help provide the American people with a growing economy, cleaner environment, better health, a stronger defense and improved quality of life. As we look to the future, we want to strengthen the partnership between the federal government and the states to advance these national goals."

U.S. Department of Commerce Undersecretary for Technology Mary Good will lead the federal, interagency review to be conducted under the auspices of the National Science and Technology Council. The National Science and Technology Council is a Cabinet-level council, chaired by the President, comprising representatives from all federal science and technology agencies.

Gibbons made the announcement at the first meeting of the newly created State- Federal Technology Partnership Task Force, an independent panel established by the Carnegie Commission on Science, Technology and Government in collaboration with the National Governors' Association, National Conference of State Legislatures, and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.

The Task Force, chaired by former Governor Richard Celeste and former Governor Richard Thornburgh, comprises 20 national leaders including Governors, state legislators, and chief executives from business and academia. The Task Force is examining ways to more effectively utilize the nation's science and technology resources by taking advantage of the special capabilities of the states. A preliminary report of the Task Force is expected to be delivered to Gibbons this summer.

Gibbons pledged cooperation with the Task Force as the federal review proceeds, noting that "the strength of the state-federal partnership is in its diversity. The states have demonstrated their unique capabilities in harnessing industry, universities and government in cooperative ventures that spur economic growth. The federal government brings unparalleled expertise and resources in basic and applied research. A union of these complementary strengths will benefit all Americans."

Thornburgh affirmed this cooperative effort, stating, "We strongly believe that states-- those time-honored laboratories of democracy-- have the ability to bring enormous new value to the nation's science and technology system." Celeste added, "The time is right to apply the lessons of past state-federal partnerships to future cooperative efforts."

Gibbons and National Governors' Association Chairman and Vermont Governor Howard Dean had previously announced their intention to initiate efforts to strengthen state-federal science and technology partnerships at a State-Federal Science and Technology Partnership Symposium in Washington on January 26. State and federal representatives at the symposium noted that improved state-federal partnerships can enhance national science and technology investments critical to strengthening the economy, protecting the environment, improving education, and assuring national security.

Contact: Rick Borchelt, 202-456-6018

Barry Epstein, 202-456-6076