Obama vows to increase U.S. research spending to 3% of GDP
President says mix of government spending, private-sector initiatives will be needed
IDG News Service - President Barack Obama today announced a goal of ensuring that 3% of the country's gross domestic product is spent on scientific research and development.
That amount would represent the largest commitment to scientific R&D in U.S. history, Obama said during a speech at the annual meeting of the National Academy of Sciences. But the president said his goal can only be achieved through a combination of government spending and private-sector initiatives.
The U.S. currently spends about 2.6% of GDP on R&D, according to the most recent National Science Board figures. That places it second overall among the G7 countries, just behind Japan.
To encourage increased private-sector investment in research, Obama said he wants to make the federal government's research and experimentation tax credit permanent. The credit has been extended multiple times over the years since it was first offered in 1981.
Obama also called on scientists to help improve America's education system. "Use your love and knowledge of science to spark the same sense of wonder and excitement in a new generation," he said. "Spend time in the classroom, talking and showing young people what your work can mean."
In addition, the government must take steps to attract and retain higher-quality science and math teachers, Obama said.
The president repeatedly framed his remarks with references to the early days of the U.S. space program, calling that period "the high-water mark" of government investment in R&D. The space program sparked a wide range of scientific innovation, leading to benefits that went far beyond the historic Apollo missions, such as advancements in building materials and fire-resistant fabrics, he said.
Meanwhile, clean energy is "this generation's great project," Obama proclaimed. He added that such work will be furthered by the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Energy, a new agency that's being funded through the economic stimulus bill signed into law by Obama in February.
ARPA-E is being modeled on the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, which was created in the 1950s (initially without the "Defense" in its name) in response to the Soviet Union's Sputnik satellite launch. The new operation will be tasked with doing the same kind of "high-risk, high-reward research" that DARPA has done, Obama said. "We will make renewable energy the profitable kind of energy."
Obama has proposed spending $150 billion over 10 years on renewable energy and energy-efficiency initiatives.
This pilot fish works for a municipal utility, and he's responsible for an industrial-control network that manages the utility's many substations. What he's not is an IT guy.
- IT Certification Study Tips
- Register for this Computerworld Insider Study Tip guide and gain access to hundreds of premium content articles, cheat sheets, product reviews and more.
- Reduce federal infrastructure risk with compliance management and situational awareness
- IBM continuous monitoring and management solutions deliver real-time situational awareness to help federal agencies understand vulnerabilities, and protect the infrastructure.
- SIP Migration: Addressing CIOs' Concerns
- Recent data from IDG Research shows that many IT executives are counting on SIP to help them meet employee efficiency and customer experience...
- SBIC: Transforming Information Security
- This report combines perspectives on technologies with experience in strategy to help security teams navigate complex decisions regarding technology deployments while maximizing investments.
- InfoTech: Cloud File Sharing
- Organizations are increasingly turning to cloud file sharing solutions to meet end-user's needs for a lightweight and effective collaboration tool. In this report,...
- Rethinking Backup and Recovery
- As enterprises continue to transform their data centers, and virtualization plays an increasing role in their IT infrastructures, the way data is backed... All Government IT White Papers
- Top 4 Digital Signage Fails Join RMG Networks for a look at four of the most common reasons digital signage fails in corporate businesses. Learn about strategies to...
- Mastering the Art of Mobile Content Management Mobile device usage in the enterprise has skyrocketed in recent years, and it continues to escalate.
- PST Archiving: What is it and How is it Done? Learn more about what PST data is, the risks relating to it, and how the new PST Archiving feature in the Simpana 10...
- HP DevOps KnowledgeVault This interactive resource focuses on the evolution taking place in the world of software development, specifically the Agile development framework, and the gap...
- Introducing Cloud-Based Disaster Recovery From VMware Cost-effectively protect your business applications in the case of a local disaster or disruptive event. VMware is excited to introduce vCloud Hybrid Service...
- All Government IT Webcasts
Computerworld has launched its annual search for outstanding IT leaders who align technology with business goals. Nominate a top IT executive for the 2015 Premier 100 IT Leaders awards now through July 18.