THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Vice President
INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY FOR THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY: A BOLD INVESTMENT IN AMERICA'S FUTURE
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; and - 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 disciplines. 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: LEADING AMERICA IN THE INFORMATION AGE 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. ### EXTENDING THE RESEARCH TAX CREDIT: 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. ###