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Office of the Vice President

For Immediate Release January 24, 1999
       As part of their FY2000 budget, President Clinton and Vice
     President Gore are proposing a $366 million, 28 percent increase
     in the government's investment in information technology research.

      This initiative, known as IT2 (Information Technology for the
     Twenty-First Century), will support three kinds of activities:

     - Long-term information technology research that will lead to
          fundamental advances in computing and communications, in the
          same way that government investment beginning in the 1960's
          led to today's Internet;

     - Advanced computing for science, engineering and the Nation that
          will lead to breakthroughs such as reducing the time required
          to develop life-saving drugs; designing cleaner, more
          efficient engines; and more accurately predicting tornadoes;

     - Research on the economic and social implications of the
          Information Revolution, and efforts to help train additional
          IT workers at our universities.

      The potential benefits of IT2 are compelling:

     - The results of past government research (e.g. the Internet, the
          first graphical Web browser, advanced microprocessors) have
          helped strengthen American leadership in the IT industry,
          which now accounts for 1/3 of U.S. economic growth and 
          employs 7.4 million Americans at wages that are more than 
          60 percent higher than the private sector average.  All 
          sectors of the U.S. economy are using IT to compete and win 
          in global markets, and business-to-business electronic 
          commerce in the U.S. alone is projected to grow to 
          $1.3 trillion by 2003.

     - Information technology is changing the way we live, work, learn,
          and communicate with each other.  Advances in IT can improve
          the way we educate our children, allow people with
          disabilities to lead more independent lives, and improve the
          quality of health care for rural Americans through
          telemedicine.  U.S. leadership in IT is also essential for
          our national security.

          - Information technology will also lead to a "golden age" of
          science and engineering.  Advances in supercomputers,
          simulation and networks are creating a new window into the
          natural world -- making IT as valuable as theory and
          experimentation as a tool for scientific discovery.  With
          computers can make trillions of calculations in a second,
          scientists and engineers will be able to better predict the
          impact of climate change, design more efficient and cleaner
          energy systems, and gain new insights into the fundamental
          nature of matter.

      The initiative builds on previous and current programs in
     computing and communications, including the High-Performance
     Computing and Communications program (authorized by legislation
     introduced by then-Senator Gore), and the Next Generation Internet,
     authorized by the Congress in 1998.  It responds to recommendations
     made by a private sector advisory committee requested by the
     Congress (the President's Information Technology Advisory
     Committee), which concluded that the government was underinvesting
     in long-term IT research relative to its importance to the Nation.
     This committee, which is comprised of leaders from industry and
     academia, concluded that the private sector was unlikely to invest
     in the long-term, fundamental IT research needed to sustain the
     Information Revolution. The initiative also reflects a strong
     belief in the research community about the potential of IT to
     accelerate the pace of discovery in all science and engineering

      The agencies that will be involved in IT2 include the National
     Science Foundation, the Department of Defense (including DARPA),
     the Department of Energy, NASA, the National Institutes of Health,
     and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.  Roughly
     60 percent of the funding will go to support university-based
     research, which will also help meet the growing demand for workers
     with advanced IT skills.

      Some of the potential breakthroughs that may be possible as a
     result of IT2 include:

     - Computers that can speak, listen and understand human language,
          are much easier to use, and accurately translate between
          languages in real-time;

     - "Intelligent agents" that can roam the Internet on our behalf,
          retrieving and summarizing the information we are looking for
          in an vast ocean of data;

     - A wide range of scientific and technological discoveries made
          possible by simulations running on supercomputers, accessible
          to researchers all over the country;

     - Networks that can grow to connect not only tens of millions of
          computers, but hundreds of billions of devices;

     - Computers that are thousands of times faster than today's
          supercomputers, or are based on fundamentally different
          technology, such as biological or quantum computing; and

     - New ways of developing complex software that is more reliable,
          easier to maintain, and more dependable for running the phone
          system, the electric power grid, financial markets, and other
          core elements of our infrastructure.


                           VICE PRESIDENT GORE:

     For decades, Al Gore has worked to lead the America in the

Information Age by offering an exciting vision of the potential of information technology, strengthening America's technological leadership, breaking down the barriers to private sector investment and job creation, putting the future at the fingertips of our children, and ensuring that all Americans have an opportunity to make the most of their lives in the Information Age.

       More than 20 years ago, as a member of Congress, he first
     popularized the term "information superhighway."

      In 1984, he introduced legislation to promote the development and
     distribution of high-quality, interactive educational software.

      In 1989, he introduced legislation to authorize a coordinated
     Federal research program in high-performance computing and
     communications.  He re-introduced this legislation in 1991, which
     was signed into law later that year as the High-Performance
     Computing Act.  This legislation expanded investment in research
     networks which led to today's Internet.

      In 1993, as Vice President, he unveiled the Administration's
     National Information Infrastructure agenda.  This agenda called for
     increased competition in the telecommunications market, more
     dissemination of government information on the Internet, greater
     allocation of spectrum for new wireless industries, enhanced
     privacy protection, and pilot projects of non-profit applications
     of the Internet and information technology.

      In 1994, he set a national goal of connecting every classroom and
     library in the United States to the Internet.  Two years later, the
     Telecommunications Act of 1996 provided deep discounts to make
     Internet access affordable for schools and library.  With Al Gore's
     leadership, the Administration increased its investment in
     educational technology (computers, software, teacher training) from
     $23 million in 1993 to over $700 million in 1998.

      Also in 1994, he set forth his vision of a "Global Information
     Infrastructure" at the International Telecommunications Union.  His
     principles are adopted at the G-7, the ITU, the Summit of the
     Americas, and APEC.

      In 1996, he called for the creation of the Next Generation
     Internet, which is 1,000 times faster than today's Internet.
     Legislation authorizing the NGI is passed by the Congress in 1998.

      In 1998, he called for an "Electronic Bill of Rights" to protect
     personal privacy.  Later that year, the Congress passed legislation
     that the Vice President had championed on identity theft and
     children's privacy.  The Vice President's leadership was also
     critical in advancing policies to promote electronic commerce,
     which is expected to grow to $1.3 trillion by the year 2003 in the
     U.S. alone.

      Today, the Vice President is announcing a new $366 million
     increase in long-term information technology research, which will
     strengthen America's position as the global leader in computing and
     communications, help create the industries and the high-tech jobs
     of the 21st century, and accelerate the pace of scientific
     discovery with high-end computers and simulation.


                        HIGH-TECH JOBS FOR AMERICA

       Today, Vice President Gore announced that the Administration will
     propose extending the Research and Experimentation tax credit for
     one year, at a cost of $2.4 billion: The R&E credit is currently
     scheduled to expire on June 30, 1999; the Administration's proposal
     would extend it to June 30, 2000.

      The R&E credit helps stimulate additional private sector
     investment in research and development: This incentive provides a
     20 percent tax credit based on the increase in a firm's research
     and development.

      The R&E credit encourages technological advancement, leads to
     higher productivity, and helps generate new American jobs:

     - Entirely new industries are created as a result of technological
          innovation.  The credit is helpful for R&D-intensive
          industries such as the information, communications, and
          electronics sector. Jobs in the high-tech sector and
          occupations that use information technology pay 60 - 70
          percent more than average private sector wages.  The credit
          also benefits major industries such as chemicals, machinery,
          and motor vehicles.

     - Most research and development dollars are directly invested in
          the salaries of U.S. employees.  The credit is only available
          for research conducted in the United States.

     - Economists estimate that half of U.S. productivity growth stems
          from technological advances.

      Private sector R&D investment also leads to a better quality of
     life for all Americans

     -    R&D also leads to innovations such as:

     -    New life-saving drugs;

     - A more advanced telecommunications infrastructure, capable of
          transmitting voice, video and high-speed data; and

     -    Cleaner and more environmentally-friendly sources of energy.