THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
PRESIDENT CLINTON ANNOUNCES NEW RESEARCH INVESTMENTS FOR AMERICA'S FUTURE $200 MILLION FOR NEW RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT (R&D) PARTNERSHIPS
Today, at an event honoring the winners of the Medals of Science and Medals of Technology, President Clinton announced two new research and development partnerships that will leverage roughly $200 million in government and industry funds. Federal government funding is $96 million, already appropriated for the current fiscal year, with the remainder coming from industry.
SUPERCOMPUTER ON A CHIP
The Defense Department and the semiconductor industry will fund long-term R&D at leading universities that will eventually allow U.S. companies to manufacture a supercomputer on a chip - with billions of transistors on a fingernail-sized piece of silicon. The focus will be on technology that is more than 8 years to commercialization, beyond the time horizon of individual companies.
The ability to double the number of transistors on a chip every 12-18 months is a driving force behind products such as affordable computers that are faster, smaller and cheaper, in a high-tech industry that is the #1 employer in the United States. The high-tech sector (information, communications, electronics) now employs 4.3 million Americans at wages that are 73 percent above the private sector average.
This initiative is being funded by the Defense Department's $14 million Government-Industry Co-sponsored University Research program, which is also investing in research to enhance the protection of our nation's critical electronic communications, energy and information infrastructure. This program allows DoD to meet its national security needs while keeping America at the cutting-edge of new technologies.
U.S. LEADERSHIP IN CIVILIAN TECHNOLOGY
The Commerce Department's Advanced Technology Program (ATP) will provide $82 million in cost-shared funds for eight new competitions to support R&D with broad-based benefits to the U.S. economy.
These competitions could lead to breakthroughs such as computer displays the size and weight of a magazine page; a fast, inexpensive DNA diagnostics laboratory that fits on a chip; low-cost methods of producing higher-quality live-saving drugs; smaller, lighter, more reliable electronics devices --things like hand-held video communications devices and radio-transmitting ID cards that locate lost children; and improved, cost-effective fuel cells that produce energy while reducing greenhouse gases.
More than half of all ATP grants have gone to small companies or joint ventures led by small companies.