National Science and Technology Council
1998 Annual Report
About the National Science and Technology Council
President Clinton established the National Science and Technology Council(NSTC) by Executive Order on November 23, 1993. This cabinet-level councilis the principal means for the President to coordinate science, space andtechnology policies across the Federal Government. NSTC acts as a "virtual"agency for science and technology (S&T). The President chairs the NSTC.Membership consists of the Vice President, Assistant to the President forScience and Technology, Cabinet Secretaries and Agency Heads with significantS&T responsibilities, and other White House officials.
Through the NSTC, Federal departments and agencies work cooperativelyto ensure that Federal S&T investments support national goals. NSTCCommittees prepare R&D strategies that are coordinated across the Federalgovernment to form a comprehensive investment package.
Call 202-456-6100 to obtain additional information regarding the NSTC.
About the Office of Science and Technology Policy
The Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) was established bythe National Science and Technology Policy, Organization and PrioritiesAct of 1976. OSTP's responsibilities include advising the President inpolicy formulation and budget development on all questions in which S&Tare important elements; articulating the President's S&T policies andprograms; and fostering strong partnerships among Federal, state and localgovernments, and the scientific communities in industry and academe. TheDirector of OSTP also serves as Assistant to the President for Scienceand Technology and manages the NSTC for the President.
Call 202-395-7347 to obtain additional information regarding the OSTP,or see our web site at:
National Science and Technology Council 1998Annual Report
I am pleased to transmit the 1998 National Science and TechnologyCouncil Annual Report. President Clinton established the National Scienceand Technology Council (NSTC) in 1993 to coordinate the diverse parts ofthe Federal research and development enterprise, especially activitiesrequiring resources from more than one Federal agency. In its 5 years ofoperation, the NSTC has assumed a prominent role in advancing the ClintonAdministration's agenda in fundamental science, education and scientificliteracy, investment in applied research, and international cooperation.
The Federal government plays a critical investment role in maintainingAmerican leadership in science and technology. The NSTC prepares researchand development strategies that are coordinated across Federal agenciesto form an investment package aimed at accomplishing multiple nationalgoals. As this report shows, the NSTC encourages cooperation among thepublic and private sectors, resulting in new research and technology payoffsthat far exceed those either party might reasonably expect.
Thomas Jefferson wisely noted that, "As new discoveries are made, newtruths discovered, and manners and opinions change with the change of circumstances,institutions must advance also to keep pace with the times." In its dedicationto reinvent government, the Clinton Administration has lived up to thatsage admonition, and the NSTC is an outstanding example of the benefitsthat can accrue from changes in institutions. I look forward to many contributionsfrom this outstanding interagency council as we enter the 21stcentury.
Assistant to the President
for Science and Technology
Investments in research and development (R&D) are among the highestpayback investments a Nation can make. Over the past 50 years accordingto a study by the Council of Economic Advisers, technological innovationhas been responsible for as much as half of the Nation's growth in productivity.
The President established the National Science and Technology Council(NSTC) in 1993 to ensure that the Nation's investment in S&T is coordinatedamong the diverse parts of the Federal research and development enterprise.During 1998 the NSTC has worked closely with the Office of Management andBudget (OMB) to develop R&D budget guidance for the Federal departmentsand agencies so that our S&T investments are integrated into the overallnational agenda.
An important objective of the NSTC is to guide individual agency budgetpriorities for R&D and to orient the S&T spending of each Federalmission agency toward achieving national goals. To meet this objective,the NSTC has established five goal-oriented committees, each of which ischaired jointly by a senior agency official and an OSTP Associate Director.These standing committees, along with ad hoc working groups within theNSTC, provide an effective forum to resolve cross-cutting issues.
National Science and Technology Goals
President Clinton made a commitment to the American people to integrateFederal agency R&D budgets to ensure that the Nation's S&T investmentsserved broad national goals, as well as agency missions. In 1998 the NSTCundertook activities related to the following broadly stated S&T goals:
Through the NSTC, Federal departments and agencies have identified aset of R&D areas that are important national efforts requiring coordinatedinvestments across several agencies. As with all R&D investments, theseinteragency priority areas should reflect our objectives of maintainingexcellence, maximizing effectiveness, and minimizing costs. This budgetguidance, rather than providing an exhaustive list of all AdministrationR&D priorities, focuses on those activities that require a significantlevel of interagency coordination.
The Administration's approach to S&T investments is guided by severalfundamental principles. In general, Federal R&D investments should:a) sustain and nurture America's world-leading S&T enterprise, throughpursuit of specific agency missions and through stewardship of criticalresearch fields and scientific facilities; b) strengthen science, math,and engineering education, ensure their broad availability, and contributeto preparing the next generation of scientists and engineers; c) focuson activities that require a Federal presence to attain national goals,including national security, environmental quality, economic growth andprosperity, and human health and well being; and d) promote internationalcooperation in S&T.
President's Committee of Advisors on Science and Technology
President Clinton established the President's Committee of Advisorson Science and Technology (PCAST) at the same time that he establishedthe NSTC to advise the President on matters involving S&T and to assistthe NSTC in securing private sector involvement in its activities. ThePCAST, which consists of distinguished individuals from industry, educationand research institutions, and other non-governmental organizations, servesas the highest level private sector advisory group for the President andthe NSTC. The direct link to the activities of the NSTC reflects the Administration'sintention to incorporate advice from the private sector in developing theS&T budgets and policies of this Administration and to secure privatesector advice on the implementation and evaluation of budgets and policies.Appendix B describes 1998 accomplishments of the PCAST.
The NSTC focuses Federal R&D activities on the President's goalsfor S&T. These goals include:
Maintaining World Leadership in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering
The Administration is unequivocally committed to maintaining leadershipacross the frontiers of scientific knowledge. The nation's prior investmenthas yielded science and engineering advances without peer, promoted scienceand engineering education, and contributed to technological innovation.This scientific strength is a treasure on which we must continue to build.Thus, even as the Federal budget deficit is eliminated, the Administrationhas protected and increased the level of investment in key Federal basicscience programs.
Promoting Long-Term Economic Growth
Technical progress is the single most important factor in generatingsustained economic growth, estimated to account for as much as half ofthe Nation's long-term growth over the past 50 years. Technology underpinsour fastest growing industries and high-wage jobs, provides the tools neededto compete in every business today, and drives growth in every major industrializednation.
Harnessing Information Technology
No technology promises to affect our world more profoundly than therapid sweep of digital technology. Every sector of our economy -- manufacturingand services, transportation, health care, education, and government --is being transformed by the power of information technologies to createnew products and services and new ways to communicate, resulting in significantimprovements in productivity and knowledge sharing.
Enhancing National Security and Global Stability
National security and global stability are critical areas where internationalS&T collaboration and interagency coordination are needed for progress.Collaboration and coordination are needed because the issues faced cannotbe solved through the efforts of a single country or a single agency. Threatsto human health and safety, such as diseases and natural disasters, donot recognize national borders and require international coordination andeffective application of S&T. International S&T relations havebecome an integral part of the overall U.S. foreign policy and play a vitalrole in the nonproliferation of weapons of mass destruction, arms control,meeting the challenges of global threats, and strengthening economic security.
The diversified Federal research portfolio serves the multiplicity ofmissions for which our Federal departments and agencies are responsible.This distributed system of research funding provides strong linkages betweenresearch and the core agency missions, but also places a premium on coordinationof agency programs. The NSTC has coordinated working groups and committeesto affect key S&T issues.
As a result of a 1997 OSTP study on progress in laboratory reform, anNSTC Interagency Working Group was established during the summer of 1997to implement the study's recommendations and improve information flow amongall S&T agencies with intramural research programs. The final report,scheduled for publication in 1999, contains major proposals to:
In March 1998 the Vice President announced a decision by the InteragencyGlobal Positioning Satellite (GPS) Executive to add two new signals tomeet the growing demands of civil users worldwide. The GPS Executive boardwas established by Presidential Decision Directive (PDD)/NSTC-6. Thesenew signals will significantly increase the robustness of the system andrepresent a major step to address concerns over the use of GPS in criticallife-saving applications such as civil aviation.
In September 1998 President Clinton and Japanese Prime Minister Obuchireleased a Joint Statement of Cooperation in the use of GPS. This statementrepresents a major step towards fulfilling the goal of PDD/NSTC-6 by establishingGPS as an acceptable international standard. Japan's commitment to workclosely with the United States on GPS is particularly significant becausethe United States. and Japan are the world's two largest producers of civilGPS user equipment.
In April 1998 the Administration announced the Safer Skies initiativein response to recommendations of the White House Commission on AviationSafety and Security. This initiative, developed by Federal Aviation Administration(FAA) in cooperation with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration(NASA) and industry, embraced the Commission's goal of reducing the fatalaviation accident rate by a factor of five within a decade.
In October 1998 NASA and FAA signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)renewing the agencies commitment to greater cooperation in achieving nationalgoals in aviation safety, air traffic control modernization, and commercialspace transportation.
In response to PDD/NSTC-5, NSTC prepared the report entitled A NationalObligation: Planning for Health Preparedness for and Readjustment of theMilitary, Veterans, and Their Families after Future Deployment. Thereport recommended that a Military and Veterans Health Coodinating Board(MVHCB) undertake coordination of all Federal agency efforts associatedwith maintaining the health of military members, veterans, and their families.The MVHCB ensures coordination among the Departments of Health and HumanServices, Defense, and Veterans Affairs on a broad range of health careand research issues relating to past, present, and future service in theU.S. Armed Forces. Approval for the MVHCB charter is expected in early1999.
The purpose of the Committee on Environment and Natural Resources (CENR)is to foster and implement a coordinated multi-agency and interdisciplinaryfocus for Federal environmental R&D. CENR pursues the goals of maintainingbiological diversity, maintaining safe water resources, improving air quality,reducing exposure to toxic substances, limiting losses from natural hazards,understanding climate change, providing sustainable use and managementof our natural resources, and minimizing ozone depletion.
The U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) is a national researchprogram conducted under the auspices of the CENR Subcommittee on GlobalChange Research (SGCR). The USGCRP began as a Presidential Initiative andwas codified by the Global Change Research Act of 1990.
The USGCRP seeks to increase understanding of the Earth system and thusprovide a sound scientific basis for national and international decision-makingon global change issues. The USGCRP focuses on four key areas of Earthsystem studies: seasonal to interannual climate variability; climate changeover decades to centuries; changes in ozone, UV radiation, and atmosphericchemistry; and changes in land cover and terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems.
The USGCRP agencies engaged in a major effort in 1998 to examine andimprove their programs in climate, ecological impacts, and carbon cycleresearch, and in observations and modeling. A new carbon cycle initiativefor the FY2000 budget has been defined and a number of revisions completedin USGCRP base program funding. An initial set of self-evaluations hasalso been developed that will prove useful in the completion of a new long-termresearch plan for the USGCRP. In 1998 the program held a major retreatthat brought together members of the academic community and the federalagencies to discuss problems and opportunities for the USGCRP. This activitycontributed both to the focus area analyses and longer-term research planning.
Significant progress was made on the National Assessment of the Consequencesof Climate Change for the United States. Production of this assessmentis mandated in the United States Global Change Research Act of 1990. TheAssessment will define regional and sectoral vulnerabilities to climatechange and is expected to contain recommendations for future research activities.Eleven workshops on regional climate change vulnerabilities were completedduring 1998.
A National Assessment Synthesis Team, chartered under the Federal AdvisoryCommittee Act, provides leadership and oversight of the assessment process,and will author the National Assessment Synthesis Report. The team includesfederal agency, academic, and private sector participants. A series ofsectoral analyses were initiated, including water resources, human health,agriculture, forests, and coastal areas. The National Assessment Plan wasalso approved by the NSTC in 1998. In 1999 the final draft of the SynthesisReport will be completed and subjected to comprehensive technical and governmentreview. The final Synthesis Report should be published by the end of 1999.We also expect significant progress on the definition of follow-on regionalanalyses.
During 1999 strong support for basic research across the broad scopeof the Earth sciences will be maintained, with a continued emphasis oninterdisciplinary collaborations and participation in international projectsand the globally coordinated research efforts proceeding under the auspicesof the International Geosphere-Biosphere Program, the World Climate ResearchProgram, and the International Human Dimensions of Global Change Program.
The Toxics and Risk Subcommittee of CENR maintains two Interagency WorkingGroups, one on endocrine disruptors, and the other on methylmercury.
Endocrine disruptors are chemicals such as DDT, dioxins, PCBs,and phthalates that may affect the endocrine systems of humans and wildlifewhen present in the environment as pollutants. What is not clear is whethersuch effects are likely or even possible at the low concentrations at whichthese chemicals are typically found in the environment. An Endocrine DisruptorsInitiative, begun in late 1995, was completed in 1998. In this initiative,the Interagency Working Group on Endocrine Disruptors assessed the stateof science on endocrine disruptors and evaluated the adequacy of on-goingFederal research to resolve the scientific unknowns. The effort found thatthe available scientific knowledge did not provide an adequate basis toinform public policy. The Federal research portfolio contained significantgaps, leaving important questions unaddressed. Identifying these gaps allowedthe members of the Working Group to target new areas for research. TheCENR report, Endocrine Disruptors: Research Needs and Priorities--1998,documents the findings of the working group and the actions taken to addressthe identified needs.
Now that the formal initiative in this area is complete, the WorkingGroup will continue to facilitate coordination of research across the Federalgovernment. Given that the working group identified substantial needs formodifying the scope and emphasis of the Federal research portfolio on endocrinedisruptors, their task is ongoing. The working group will also periodicallyevaluate the results of the new research to address the identified scientificunknowns and determine whether additional changes in research strategyare warranted.
The Interagency Working Group on Mercury, established in late 1997,is helping to resolve scientific issues related to the Environmental ProtectionAgency's (EPA) Mercury Study Report to Congress and to evaluatenew scientific information on the health effects of mercury. In November1998 the working group held a workshop that brought key methylmercury healtheffects investigator teams together with stakeholder Federal agencies toprovide in-depth peer review for several important new studies. The workshopevaluated the strengths and weaknesses of the Seychelles and Faeroe Islandsdata sets on developmental effects in children exposed in uterovia maternal consumption of fish and marine mammal meat. The workshop resultsshould contribute to resolving differences among risk limit values maintainedby several member agencies.
The Interagency Working Group on Mercury plans to continue its coordinationactivities aimed at harmonizing agency health protection policies. TheEPA's Areference dose,@the Food and Drug Administration's Aactionlevel,@ and the Agencyfor Toxic Substances and Disease Registry's Aminimalrisk level@ are all evaluatedfor revision periodically, providing opportunities to incorporate new data.Coordination will help ensure that Federal agencies issue a consistentpublic health message on the risks and benefits of consuming dietary methylmercury.
The NSTC is working to reduce the cost of natural disasters to the U.S.economy through support of a multidisciplinary, multi-agency research programcoordinated by the CENR Subcommittee on Natural Disaster Reduction (SNDR).Key aspects of this program include focusing R&D efforts on improvingfuture risk assessment and risk management capabilities, and improvementof analytical, modeling, forecasting, and information dissemination tools.
The SNDR and the Institute for Business and Home Safety recently establishedthe Public Private Partnership 2000 (PPP 2000) to seek opportunities forgovernment and nonprofit, private-sector organizations to work togetherto reduce vulnerability to natural hazards in U.S. communities. PPP 2000is holding a series of forums to foster novel partnerships among governmentand private sector organizations to address natural disaster reductionissues. Their purposes are to increase national/international dialog onways to reduce escalating losses, increase our understanding of the manycomplex issues, and raise the visibility of these issues in the Legislativeand Executive branches and the board rooms of the private sector. Summaryreports from forums held to date can be found on the Internet at the URLhttp://www.usgs.gov/ppp2000/index.html.
Due to the efforts of the SNDR, the FY 1999 budget included $100 M fornew activities aimed at reducing losses from natural disasters throughcoordinated activities. SNDR members also worked closely with the VicePresident's National Partnership for Reinventing Government on a FY 2000initiative ASaving Liveswith an All-Hazards Warning Network@that would place NOAA weather radios in public buildings in areas at riskfrom natural hazards.
Interagency efforts to gain support from Congress for a Global DisasterInformation Network (GDIN) initiative in FY 1999 failed, but key agencies(United States Geological Survey (USGS), National Oceanic and AtmosphericAdministration (NOAA), Central Intelligence Agency, Department of Defense(DOD), National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), Federal EmergencyManagement Administration (FEMA) and others) provided funding for workon interoperability issues. Their work proved useful when the devastationleft by Hurricane Mitch in Central America produced an urgent need forcomprehensive spatial information. These agencies, along with private sectorpartners and the government of Honduras, produced a GIS Atlas, risk maps,and CD ROM to support response and recovery efforts.
In December 1998 the Open GIS Consortium, a non-profit group devotedto promoting the development and use of advanced open systems standardsand techniques in the area of geoprocessing and related information technologies,voted to create a GDIN special interest group with broad support from privatesector high tech companies. The special interest group will help developa comprehensive suite of open interface specifications that enable software
developers to write interoperating components providing capabilitiesin the area of disaster information and warnings. A proposed testbed willevaluate three disasters.
SNDR's Working Group on Natural Disaster Information Systems producedthe draft report Effective Disaster Warnings that evaluates andrecommends ways to integrate public and private resources with infrastructure.This ensures that the most accurate and timely technical information regardingnatural disasters is instantly available to everyone who can take actionto save lives, reduce damage, and speed response and recovery. The reportis now in NSTC review and completion is anticipated in spring 1999.
Increasing losses in FY 1999 raised the visibility of natural disasterreduction issues and accelerated demand for presentations on federal mitigationactivities by SNDR members. In addition, reports from the PPP2000Forums will contribute to the U.S. National Report to the United Nationsfor the close of the International Decade for National Disaster Reduction(IDNDR), and SNDR will play an active role in planning for a ADisasterSummit@ to be held inWashington, DC, in 1999. SNDR will continue to work with agencies acrossthe federal government to improve coordination of loss reduction activities,especially in the areas of real-time monitoring and warning systems. CENRwill continue to encourage emerging public-private partnerships to developan interoperable disaster information and warning system.
The CENR supports an array of research activities aimed at improvingour understanding of atmospheric processes and the effect of human activitieson the atmosphere. While the Nation's commitment to better air qualityis clear and unequivocal, the best means for attaining it are far fromclear. The overall aim of the Air Quality Research Subcommittee (AQRS)is to enhance the effectiveness and productivity of air quality researchto provide a better scientific basis for decision-making to improve airquality.
The National Acid Precipitation Assessment Program (NAPAP) completedits 1998 biennial report to Congress on the effectiveness of the first2 years of the SO2 and NOx reductions required byTitle IV of the Clean Air Act. The findings of this assessment were thatthe Acid Rain Program achieved significant emission reductions at a muchlower cost than was originally estimated. Utility emissions of SO2were below projected and allowable levels, and these reductions, in turn,did contribute to decreased acid deposition. However, the data from theProgram's first 2 years are not yet sufficient to allow definitive statementson whether these deposition reductions will be adequate to reverse theadverse effects of acid precipitation on sensitive receptors.
In 1999 the AQRS plans to focus on (1) Particulate Matter (PM) - TheAQRS is actively developing a series of multi-agency measurement programsto address the information gaps for PM. It will also initiate discussionswith the North American Research Strategy for Tropospheric (NARSTO) onthe development of a joint state-of-science assessment for fine particles.(2) Outreach to the health research community - The subcommittee will buildon the collaborations established to date to develop programs for fineparticle research among the atmospheric sciences, exposure and health effectsresearch communities. Continued collaboration is essential to craft effectivemanagement strategies in the face of uncertainty regarding PM's adversehealth impacts. (3) Ground-level ozone - The completion of the NARSTO state-of-scienceassessment for ground level ozone will be a high priority for the subcommittee.(4) Air Quality Monitoring Networks – The AQRS is actively working to preserveand enhance the Nation's air quality monitoring networks through better,less costly designs, promotion of improved data accessibility, and leveragedinvestments through the deployment of multi-purpose monitors. (5) One Atmosphere– Air pollutants may act in common, as multiple stressors, with seriousconsequences for the environment and public health. They are formed bycommon chemistry and transported together in the atmosphere. They havecommon sources, and need common solutions. The subcommittee will look atways to integrate research results, providing a "heads-up" for policy makerson how emission reductions targeted for one issue may beneficially or adverselyaffect another. In particular, the AQRS hopes to begin to explore connectionsbetween air quality and climate through a series of joint programs withthe CENR Global Change Research Subcommittee of the CENR. The subcommitteewill help develop integrated programs designed to understand how futureclimate change may affect pollution control efforts.
The Subcommittee on Ecological Systems works to help build the foundationfor conservation and sustainable use and management of ecological systems.An understanding of the relationship between environmental stresses andchanges in ecosystem structure and function is essential to this effortand to meet societal needs in agriculture, forestry, fisheries, recreation,medicine, and quality of life. The focus of the subcommittee is to coordinateresearch efforts to document change, synthesize and assess information,understand processes and the effect of scale, predict change, and providefor management and restoration.
In 1998 the subcommittee led a CENR-wide effort to develop a researchinitiative known as Integrated Science for Ecosystem Challenges (ISEC)to address environmental stresses to ecosystems by using new technologiesand approaches to ecological research. For FY 2000, the initiative focuseson four critical areas: (1) invasive species, biodiversity, and speciesdecline; (2) harmful algal blooms, hypoxia, and eutrophication; (3) habitatconservation and ecosystem productivity; and (4) information management,monitoring and integrated assessment. ISEC efforts are to be integratedinto a flexible multi-disciplinary framework for coordinating S&T activities.They will also be integrated across Federal, state, and local agenciesto share capabilities, facilities, and resources, and coordinated acrossactivities, such
research, technology development, monitoring, modeling, assessment,and information management.
During 1999 the subcommittee plans to refine and develop a long-termISEC strategy and an FY 2001 budget initiative involving a wider technicalreview by academia, states, non government organizations, and others. Recommendationsof the President's Committee of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST)will also be incorporated into the strategy. Potential areas of additionalcoordination or of greater focus include environmental monitoring and assessment,species discovery, socioeconomic analysis, extreme natural events, andglobal change.
Important progress was also made by the subcommittee's associated taskteams in 1998. The Bioinformatics Task Team proposed a framework strategyfor the Next Generation National Biological Information Infrastructure,as recommended by PCAST. It also sponsored a major conference entitledAMetadiversity:Metadata Implications for Networking of Biodiversity Information." TheInvasive Species Task Team made steady progress on developing a strategyto integrate both management and science needs relating to invasive species.A government Task Force on Amphibian Decline and Deformities (TADD) hasbeen established with working groups in science, conservation, internationalaffairs, and education. The TADD/Science Working Group has begun to coordinatesurveys and research on amphibian decline.
The Hypoxia Task Team convened six science teams to develop backgroundpapers on topics relevant to dynamics and impacts of Gulf of Mexico hypoxia,sources and transport of watershed nutrients, and technical and economicaspects of available nutrient management strategies. The resulting sixreports are currently undergoing independent peer review and will be synthesizedinto an integrated assessment and delivered to the President and Congressthis spring, as mandated in the Harmful Algal Bloom and Hypoxia Researchand Control Act of 1998.
The third Program Guide to Federally Funded Environment and NaturalResources R&D was published in 1998. This popular document servesas a reference for use by colleges, universities, and other research institutionson opportunities for funding environmental research provided by the CENRmember agencies. The Program Guide describes the competitive processesfor merit review and evaluation, describes potential funding sources, andprovides points of contact and web site information for all agency programs.Preparation of the fourth (1999) edition of the Program Guide isnow underway.
The Committee on International Science, Engineering, and Technology(CISET) addresses international scientific cooperation as it relates toforeign policy and the Nation's R&D agenda. CISET's mandate is notdefined within any particular area of S&T. Rather, CISET's role isto review the wide range of bilateral and multilateral international scientificprograms carried out by the technical agencies in the U.S. Government,and to identify opportunities for international cooperation and interagencycoordination in response to new needs and opportunities. CISET's activitiesare directed toward three broad, complementary goals to:
The goal of the Emerging Infectious Disease (EID) Task Force is to coordinateU.S. government activities on infectious diseases and to implement PDD/NSTC-7.Five groups were created to achieve this goal: 1) Surveillance and Response;2) Research and Training; 3) Capacity Development; 4) Legislation and AgencyMandates; and 5) Outreach. Through these five sub-working groups, workingin cooperation with the private sector and public health and medical communities,the EID Task Force seeks to strengthen the domestic infectious diseasesurveillance and response system, both at the Federal, state and locallevels and at ports of entry into the United States. The EID Task Forcealso sought to expand this surveillance and response network onto the globalscale. It strengthened the Nation's research activities in the fields ofdiagnostics, treatment, and prevention, and to expand the Nation's understandingof the biology of infectious disease agents.
The EID task force has made major strides in the implementation of PDD/NSTC-7.Internationally, the task force helped place EIDs on the internationalagenda of the G-8 Summit in Birmingham, the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation(APEC) Leaders Summit in Kuala Lumpur, and other major multinational forums.An EID experts' meeting was also held under the G-8 auspices to begin developmentof a global strategy for surveillance and response, particularly in developingcountries. To follow up on G-8 commitments to reduce the death rate frommalaria, task force members achieved significant budget increases for prevention,control, and research on malaria. In response to the increasing threatof multi-drug resistant tuberculosis, task force members are working closelywith World Health Organization to develop a Stop Tuberculosis Project.
Domestically, task force members have increased budgets for surveillance,response, research and outreach. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention(CDC) have expanded its programs to strengthen its epidemiology and laboratorycapacity, including a new electronic network to track deadly strains ofthe bacterium E. coli. In response to the increasing problem ofantibiotic resistance, CDC has launched two major prevention programs incommunity and hospital settings. CDC and other task force members conducteda major outreach effort by holding the first international conference onEIDs in Atlanta in March 1998. The EID Task Force released their annualreport, wherein were listed their important accomplishments.
The EID Task Force has set the following calendar for itself for 1999:
June 1999 Cologne, Germany BG-8 Summit, EIDs to be discussed
Key countries are defined as those countries with economic, scientific,and technical achievements requiring United States cooperation to garnerimportant advances for the people of the United States. Currently, keycountries consist of Russia, Japan, and China.
The goals of the Interagency Working Group on Russia are to developand articulate a strategy for S&T cooperation with Russia and to coordinateU.S. government cooperation across the technical agencies to:
The U.S.-Russian Binational Commission, now called the Gore-PrimakovCommission, has been the driving force behind the Interagency Working Groupon Russia this year. The General Problems Working Group (GPWG) has beenre-established under the Science and Technology Committee and held a working-levelmeeting in Moscow this December to discuss problems related to customs,taxes, and intellectual property rights. A government-wide strategy onArctic Research for the United States is underway, and a final versionof a MOU between Russia and the USGS on observational seismology will bereleased soon.
Another key area of activity is the cooperation in the commercializationof technology. The United States hosted a roundtable on technology commercializationin September 1998, attended by numerous Russian and American agency representatives.Also in September, the Russian Science Ministry and the Civilian Researchand Development Foundation (CRDF) signed an MOU on technology commercialization,resulting in the creation of CRDF's Next Steps to Market Program.
Finally, progress has been made in expanding cooperation with the Russiansin telecommunications. Examples include the University of California atSanta Barbara and
St. Petersburg University sharing their digital libraries and geographicinformation systems, the establishment of a direct internet link betweenscientists in the United States and Russia, and the creation of a Russiansupercomputing center.
The CISET working group on Russia has set the following calendar ofevents for 1999:
March 1999 Meeting of Working Group on General Problems of S&T
March 1999 Meeting of Gore-Primakov Commission S&T Committee
The purpose of the Interagency Working Group on Japan is to developa coordinated strategy toward U.S. relations with Japan, which maximizesthe value of S&T cooperation, strengthens our relations in trade andsecurity, and builds upon our contributions to international issues ofcommon concern. A coordinated strategy was recommended by the NationalResearch Council in their report, Maximizing U.S. Interests in Scienceand Technology Relations with Japan. Areas assessed by the WorkingGroup include identification of priority areas of cooperative activity,support for Administration priorities and bilateral agreements in S&T(such as the Joint High Level Committee on Science and Technology and theU.S.-Japan Common Agenda) and support for the re-negotiation/renewal ofthe umbrella S&T agreement.
The CISET Working Group on Japan completed an interagency strategy documentsubmitted to the NSTC in June 1998. Congress was briefed on the contentsof this document, and this influenced the content of Senate Resolution262 on U.S.-Japan cooperation in S&T submitted by Senators Roth andBingaman. The discussions leading to the formation of this document alsoinformed U.S. government positions in a range of bilateral S&T agreements,including the umbrella agreement, which is due to be renewed this year.Finally, the Interagency Working Group considered the report of the U.S.-JapanJoint High Level Advisory Panel (JHLAP), which addressed the followingissues: enhancing the participation of youth in science and technology;increasing the sharing of information on the means of gaining public awarenessof S&T; increasing the priority on cooperation in environmental issues;increasing the priority on cooperation in health related research and development;addressing continuing problems in access to scientific information; strengtheningefforts to recruit American individuals to participate in S&T bilateralexchange programs; working to exploit more fully the internet to advancecollaboration; and examining the means of facilitating the DOD to participatein basic research collaborations.
The Working Group on Japan will participate in the re-negotiation ofthe U.S.-Japan Science and Technology Agreement, which is due to expirein March 1999. The Interagency Working Group will conduct a 1-year assessmentof the changes that have occurred since the submission of the strategyto the NSTC. The Interagency Working Group will also participate in planningthe Joint High Level Committee meeting and will work with the Joint HighLevel Advisory Panel in moving forward the recommendations of that panel.
The goals of the Interagency Working Group on China are to develop andarticulate a strategy for cooperation with China, and to coordinate U.S.government cooperation across the technical agencies. The goals are to:
The Working Group on China concentrated its 1998 efforts in three areas.First, the Interagency Working Group worked to implement the Clean Energyand Environmental Initiative. Second, the Interagency Working Group preparedand gained an enthusiastic approval from the Chinese government on a proposalto hold a workshop on water. The Chinese Ministry of Water Resources willbe the lead agency for China. The workshop, postponed due to the extensiveflooding in China has been rescheduled for April 1999.
Third, the Working Group has begun to develop a strategy for cooperationin S&T with China in the 21st century. This strategy willbring together priority activities of the President and Vice Presidentand the interests of various agencies, while balancing our national securityconcerns regarding close engagement with the Chinese.
The Interagency Working Group on China is planning three major eventsfor April 1999:
The goals of the Interagency Working Group on the Organization for EconomicCooperation and Development (OECD) are to develop and articulate a strategyfor S&T cooperation with OECD and to coordinate U.S. government cooperationacross the technical agencies. Goals include:
The United States also conducted an evaluation of the Megascience Forumbased on the reports from its working groups on Biological Informatics,Radioastronomy, Nuclear Physics, Neutron Sources, and Removing Obstacles,with recommendations for the future. The United States governmentis pleased with its experiences in the Megascience Forum and the Forum'spositive contributions to our science policy decision-making process. Theconclusions of the Neutron Scources Working Group, for example, influencedour own investment decisions. The Biological Informatics Group's recommendationfor a Global Bioinformatics Facility is also being seriously consideredfor domestic investment.
In 1999 the interagency working group will continue its work with OECDto streamline activities and develop a budget commensurate with our interests.The interagency working group will also be responsible for developing theU.S. positions for the June 1999 Ministerial and the specifics of the nextphase of the MegaScience Forum.
Outside of the five established international working groups, otherinternational activities included work on APEC, South Africa, the EuropeanUnion, and Egypt.
An ad hoc Working Group on S&T in APEC (Asia Pacific EconomicCooperation) continues to meet periodically to assess means of best advancingissues of interest to the U.S. government in this forum. This ad hocinteragency working group supported U.S. Government participation at thisyear's APEC Science and Technology Ministerial in Mexico City. Centralthemes that emerged from the U.S. government were the importance of identifyingareas of broad common S&T interest in the region and the value of catalyzingthe work of international S&T initiatives that occur outside of theformal APEC structure. Key U.S. initiatives advanced were in the areasof emerging infectious diseases and health, and cleaner production.
In the realm of U.S.-South Africa relations, two major accomplishmentsthis year were the co-sponsorship by the United States of the NorthwestProvince for the South African Year of Science and Technology, and thecreation of the Manufacturing Advisory Center, a major step forward inour technology commercialization efforts.
The year 1998 also saw implementation of the U.S.-European Union S&Tagreement and a public event to bring together United States. and EuropeanUnion government officials responsible for funding research. An InteragencyWorking Group on Egypt was also established to reinvigorate the TechnologySubcommittee of the Gore-Mubarak Commission with Egypt.
The Committee on National Security (CNS) facilitates coordination ofFederal efforts in R&D in the area of national security. CNS identifiesrelevant priorities, programs, and plans across Federal agencies with aview toward advising the NSTC about the vigor and appropriateness of Federalinvestments in R&D that underpin a sound national security posture.In 1998 CNS focused on nonproliferation, initiated a new working groupon technology transfer, and investigated infrastructure protection research.
Three working groups executed Committee actions: the Nonproliferationand Arms Control Technology Working Group, the International TechnologyTransfer Issues and Policy Interagency Working Group, and the CriticalInfrastructure Protection Research and Development Interagency WorkingGroup.
Since its formation in 1994 as the result of a PDD, the Nonproliferationand Arms Control (NPAC) Technical Working Group has evolved into a highlycredible and respected vehicle for coordinating key elements of our nationalsecurity S&T strategy. The working group is composed of 13 interagency,subject-specific focus groups and a Technology Needs subcommittee. Theworking group reports to the President through both the CNS and the NationalSecurity Council (NSC). The working group is chartered to exchange informationand coordinate NPAC R&D activities; review NPAC R&D programs, identifyinggaps and unnecessary overlaps; advise agencies on NPAC R&D priorities;frame interagency issues and differences for decisions by adjudicatingbodies; and make recommendations to the CNS on the coordination of allnonproliferation and arms control-related R&D programs in the President'sbudget submission to Congress.
During 1998 approximately 100 R&D program managers representing60 organizations conducted numerous program reviews. The working groupcoordinated nearly 300 R&D programs and projects representing an approximatelyfederal investment of $700 million. The key thrust in working group 1998activities was to promote a shared interagency understanding of the evolvingdynamics of effective R&D coordination in an era of constrained resourcesand expanding needs for national security technologies. To this end, thegroup conducted formal meetings with the Community Management Staff, theNonproliferation Center, the Arms Control Intelligence Staff, the DefenseSpecial Weapons Agency (now the Defense Threat Reduction Agency), the NationalSecurity Council Counterterrorism Office, and the Critical InfrastructureProtection R&D Working Group. Furthermore, the group expanded cooperationwith the Counterproliferation Program Review Committee through joint workinggroup meetings. These meetings reviewed the status of hazard predictionmodels, unattended ground sensors and hyper/ultraspectral sensors for chemicaland biological warfare agent and activities detection.
As a result of the expanded dialog with the above organizations, theworking group Fourth Annual Symposium on Coordination of Federal NPAC R&Dincluded substantial new participation by policy makers and technologyusers. Three hundred policy makers, program managers, and contractors attendedthe symposium.
The working group, in conjunction with the Office of Management andBudget (OMB) and OSTP, has begun outlining an informal budget review process.This process will provide better information to participating agencieson NPAC R&D priorities and shortfalls while improving the timing ofworking group reports and recommendations with respect to agency and Federalbudget cycles.
In 1999 the working group will continue formalizing the processes foridentifying and validating needs and translating them into adjudicabletechnology options for existing interagency working groups and agency resourcemanagers. Approaches to be considered include a forum for agencies to reviewR&D issues developed by the Technology Needs Subcommittee. Such a forumwill facilitate the proposal of programmatic options for resolving technology-needsissues and establishing system requirements for applicable technologies.It might also include investment strategies and mechanisms to pursue responsiveR&D programs. The working group will continue to integrate R&Dmore fully into the budget process by highlighting successful interagencyapproaches for assigning resources to national needs, encouraging stableand supportive leadership in the R&D community, and ensuring existingand planned efforts have coordinated policy-level justification. A summaryreport on the results of the case-study reviews is expected by the middleof 1999.
The International Technology Transfer Working Group was establishedin December 1996 to identify ways to improve national policy proceduresgoverning international technology interactions and execution mechanismsfor technology transfer and control. The working group includes representationfrom the Departments of Commerce, Defense, Energy, and State; the ArmsControl and Disarmament Agency; and NASA. The working group tasks are to:review mechanisms and legislation; review ABuyAmerican@ legislationas a barrier to exports; refine definitions of critical technology andrelated export policies; review the practices of other governments; consultwith U.S. industry; identifiy interagency differences; and consider improvementsfor interagency cooperation and risk assessment; and the relationship ofexport policies on the import of technology. The CNS principals directedthe group to conduct case studies of international technology transferwith a focus on lessons learned and best practices that might be used toimprove management processes.
In 1998 the Working Group focused on the study of specific cases. TheCNS considered 12 case-study topics and voted to study first the internationaltechnology transfer associated with federal laboratories. This case studyexamined policies and procedures for managing international technologytransfer at the Federal laboratories and identified best practices througha comparison of laboratory approaches. The assessment initially focusedon international participation in R&D partnerships and licensing andincluded both domestic programs and international agreements. Managementprocesses for assessing international participation were reviewed, alongwith the assessment criteria. Approaches to evaluating key issues, suchas reciprocity of access, partner country intellectual property protection,and export control review were also reviewed. Several CNS principals raisedthe question of interagency review as a wise precaution on key projects.During the course of the study, legislation in both the House and Senatecalled for similar review of cooperative R&D agreements (House Resolution2544 and Senate Resolution 2120). The House version of the legislationpassed, but the Senate did not act on its version prior to the end of theCongressional session. At the CNS October 27, 1998, meeting, the principalsasked the group to extend its study to the handling of foreign visitorsand personnel at federal laboratories. Also, the Department of Commercehas provided study drafts on international participation in SEMATECH androcket motor casing export controls to the group for assessment.
The working group will focus its 1999 efforts on technology transferprocess improvements. In particular, the group will concentrate on identifyingmechanisms by which individual technology transfer cases would be consideredas they develop. These mechanisms will be tested on at least six technologytransfer cases to provide validity. In addition, the working group willattempt to more fully understand interagency issues and differences oninternational technology transfer and equipment export. The working groupwill also examine the technology transfer implications of foreign personnelworking in U.S. facilities and the export license issues associated withforeign scientists and engineers.
The Critical Infrastructure Protection Research and Development InteragencyWorking Group is the newest CNS working group. It was formed in March 1998in anticipation of PDD/NSC 63, signed May 22, 1998, and emphasizes theneed to protect and develop new options for the protection of the nationalinfrastructure from terrorist and other threats. The group is chaired byOSTP and co-chaired by the Departments of Commerce and Defense. It is chargedwith developing the federal R&D agenda and strategy necessary to protectour critical infrastructure and reports to both the Committee on NationalSecurity and Technology and to the NSC.
The Critical Infrastructure Protection R&D Interagency Working Grouporganized its activities into eight subgroups: Banking and Finance, Informationand Communications, Energy, Transportation, Vital Human Services, Interdependencies,Outreach, and Budget. During 1998 the working group developed a comprehensivedraft R&D. The first activity of the working group was the establishmentof a budget baseline, through a review of the OMB data call initiated inDecember 1997. An informal working group survey begun in June 1998 wasalso completed. The working group completed a comprehensive review of infrastructuralvulnerabilities and a determination of where gaps and shortfalls existed.R&D efforts effective in reducing vulnerability were also identified.Finally, R&D priorities were established. The working group effortsfor 1998 culminated in a Presidential report that included a restatementof R&D vision and objectives, R&D options for FY 2000, a draftR&D plan, and recommendations for interagency processes for budget,outreach, and technology monitoring.
During 1999 the working group will focus on outreach to the privatesector, academia, and the international community; the development of plansand recommendations for the fiscal year 2001 budget; continuing reviewof current technology efforts and issues; and coordination with the securitypanel established under PCAST. The Critical Infrastructure Protection WorkingGroup also expects to conduct an R&D conference during 1999 as partof its outreach and coordination activities.
Other activities by the Committee included: monitoring and coordinationwith the Weapons of Mass Destruction R&D Interagency Working Group;communicating with involved agencies in R&D efforts related to humanitariandemining; and discussion of the OSTP fiscal year 2000 research and developmentpriorities.
The purpose of the Committee on Science (CS) is to advise and assistthe NSTC, with emphasis on those federally supported efforts that developnew knowledge in the sciences, mathematics, and engineering, includingissues related to health and safety. The CS also addresses significantnational policy matters that cut across agency boundaries and providesa formal mechanism for interagency science policy development, coordination,and information exchange.
The neutron scattering and synchrotron radiation facilities funded bythe Departments of Commerce, Energy and the National Science Foundation(NSF), are now being used extensively by researchers whose funding comesfrom other agencies, including the National Institutes of Health. CS membersformed an informal working group to examine the relative roles of agenciesin funding the operations and instrumentation of these facilities.
The CS has taken the lead in developing a government-wide approach toensuring the integrity of the research record. The CS is working to developa common definition of research misconduct for federally sponsored research(both intramural and extramural) and a set of guiding principles for respondingto specific allegations. The CS anticipates that the draft guidelines willbe ready for publication in the Federal Register early in 1999.
The long-standing S&T partnership between the Federal governmentand universities, aimed at advancing S&T in the national interest,is a core element of America's world-leading R&D enterprise. Stressesin the evolving partnership require attention. The Assistant to the Presidentfor Science and Technology initiated a review to (1) determine what mightbe the major stresses in the areas of research, education, and administrativeregulations; and (2) determine the best ways to address the issues raisedin this examination. The products of the review will assist in developingstrategies that promote cost-effective, university-based research, allocateresearch costs fairly, strengthen the research-education linkage, and maintainappropriate accountability for the expenditure of public funds.
The interagency task force dealing with this review is now completingits work. The draft report recommends: (1) articulating principles forthe government/university partnership through on-going dialogue betweenagencies and the academic sector; (2) recognizing the importance of theresearch/education interaction to the strength of the U.S. research enterprise;and (3) taking action to modify selected business practices of Federalagencies that have an unintended adverse impact on the partnership. Thefinal report will be available early in 1999.
The Working Group on Plant Genome Research has developed a strategyon how the federal government can contribute to a comprehensive efforton expanding our knowledge of plant genomes, especially those plants thatcontribute to our Nation's agricultural sector. The working group's strategywas published in early 1998. The strategy builds on an interagency andinternational project to sequence the genome of Arabidopsis thaliana,a relatively simple mustard plant that has been used as a model. The workinggroup is now focusing on implementing the plan through the programs ofseveral participating agencies.
Over the past year, the Working Group on Food Safety Research conductedan in depth assessment of the Federal food safety research portfolio. Areport is being drafted that reflects the breadth and diversity of thisportfolio, as well as input received at a public meeting held on June 30,1998. This work will be central to the functioning of the Joint Institutefor Food Safety Research, created by the President on July 3, 1998. OnAugust 25, 1998, the Joint Institute was brought under the auspices ofthe President's Council on Food Safety. Upon publication of its report,the Working Group will disband, and the Joint Institute will assume thefood safety research planning and coordination activities.
Preparing America's children for the 21st century is amongour most important national priorities. Today's children face the promiseof a new century of unparalleled opportunity. Yet, too many of them faceobstacles that obscure that bright future - obstacles including poverty,violence, child abuse, limited educational opportunity, and unhealthy behaviors.We must develop new knowledge and use it in a way that provides policiesand programs that are likely to succeed in appropriately addressing theseobstacles and provide a productive future for children at risk.
The multi-agency AChildren'sInitiative@ study wasreleased in 1997, and one area identified for additional research was children'shealth and behavior. The CS formed the interagency working group on theChildren's Initiative in 1998 to focus on issues related to children'shealth and behavior. The working group will identify key research opportunities;understand the influence of families on the development of children andadolescents; consider longitudinal studies of children and youth; and developa research strategy for the future. The working group is focusing on activitiesthat require a coordinated, multi-agency approach.
One of the abiding concerns of the CS is ensuring an appropriate workforcefor the S&T enterprise of the future. In 1998 the CS created an internationalworking group to address issues related to workforce development. The workinggroup is to look at the effect of demographic and socioeconomic changeson workforce development; the potential contributions that could be lostwhen elements of the population do not participate fully in the S&Tenterprise; and the current policies and programs of federal agencies thatmight influence participation rates, particularly of women and minorities.A workshop was held in the summer of 1998. The working group is currentlyexamining the legal, demographic and programmatic circumstances influencingparticipation in the workshop. An interim report is expected early in 1999,with a final report about 6 months later.
Biotechnology is one of the most active areas for R&D in scienceand engineering. The CS Subcommittee on Biotechnology addresses researchopportunities in aspects of biotechnology, resources and infrastructureneeded for biotechnology research, and international aspects of biotechnology.In 1998 research activities focused on bioremediation and metabolic engineering.Planned activities for 1999 include marine biotechnology and aquaculture.A
report on accomplishments from the Federal investment in biotechnologyresearch will be completed in 1999, as will a report on critical issuesin bioinformatics.
The Committee on Technology (CT) was created in 1998 to advise and assistthe NSTC to increase the overall effectiveness and productivity of FederalR&D efforts. The Committee addresses significant national policy mattersthat cut across agency boundaries and provides a formal mechanism for interagencypolicy coordination and development of Federal technology activities. Thisincludes developing balanced and comprehensive R&D programs, establishingstructures that improve the way the Federal government plans and coordinatesR&D, and advising the Directors, OSTP and OMB, on R&D budget crosscutsand priorities.
On September 29, 1993, the Federal government and the U.S. automobileindustry have joined in an unprecedented alliance established by the VicePresident. It includes seven Federal agencies, 19 national laboratories,universities, suppliers and the United States Council of Automobile Research(USCAR). USCAR is an organization formed by the Big Three U.S. auto makers(Ford, Daimler-Chrysler, and General Motors) to coordinate pre-competitiveresearch.
The Partnership for a New Generation of Vehicles (PNGV) includes researchon:
1) manufacturing productivity improvement; 2) near-term improvementsin fuel efficiency and emission reduction; and, 3) development of advancedtechnologies that will enable light-duty vehicle design with up to three-foldbetter fuel economy while meeting future safety and emission requirementsand achieving cost and performance similar to today's vehicles. The deliveriesare concept cars in 2000 and pre-production prototype cars in 2004. Theresearch plan is annually peer-reviewed by the National Research Council.
During 1998 the PNGV completed and announced the results of the TechnologySelection decisions. It focused its R&D activities on fuel cell advanceddirect injection internal combustion engines; advanced emission controland new fuels for very low emissions lithium and nickel-metal-hydride highpower batteries; advanced electric drive systems with a particular focuson hybrid-electric-drive systems; and lightweight structural materials.The number of automotive suppliers and other companies participating inPNGV has continued to grow to over 300 and the number of advanced automotivetechnology commercial announcements increased significantly as the Americanautomotive industry plans for the future.
United States Innovation Partnership (USIP) was officially establishedin June 1997 through a MOU between the Federal government and the NationalGovernors' Association. Its goal is to promote economic growth. USIP focusesits efforts on eliminating barriers to technological innovation and jobcreation by making Federal tools more Astatefriendly,@ achieving stateand Federal public-policy objectives through state-Federal collaboration,engaging in pilot state-based projects, and assimilating state "best practices"into Federal departments and agencies. Through the implementation of thesestrategies, USIP has accomplished the following:
In 1998 the NSTC oversaw work in five program component areas: 1) HighEnd Computing and Computation; 2) Large Scale Networking ; High ConfidenceSystems; 3) Human Centered Systems; 4) Education, Training, and Human Resources,and 5) the Federal Information Services and Applications Council.
The Federal Computing, Information, and Communications Research andDevelopment (CIC R&D) programs invest in long-term R&D to advancecomputing, information, and communications. These programs are an outgrowthof the highly successful, congressionally-chartered High Performance Computingand Communications (HPCC) Program and were reauthorized by congress thisyear in the Next Generation Internet Act of 1998.
Accomplishments of the Federal CIC R&D Program in 1998 are describedin Computing, Information and Communications: Networked Computing forthe 21st Century Supplement to the President's 1999 Budget, August 1998,and in the FY 1998 Implementation Plan. Additionally, the NSTC sponsoredthe following events during 1998:
Announced by the President in October 1996, the Next Generation Internetinitiative (NGI) is a multi-agency Federal R&D program that is developingadvanced networking technologies and revolutionary applications requiringadvanced networking. The program will demonstrate these capabilities ontestbeds that are 100 to 1,000 times faster end-to-end than today's Internet.The NGI initiative is a key component of the Large Scale Networking research,with participation from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA),Department of Energy (DOE), NASA, NIH, NIST, and NSF.
The NGI Implementation Plan was published in January 1998. In March1998 Congressional representatives, Administration officials, and the publichad an opportunity to view firsthand the technologies and applicationsbeing developed under the NGI initiative at an event, coined ANetamorphosis.@Seventeen NGI demonstrations from seven Federal agencies, academia, andindustry showed how further development of Internet technologies will leadto advancements in healthcare, the environment, manufacturing, defense,and education. At SC98, a national high performance networking and computingconference held in November 1998, eleven NGI demonstrations were exhibitedas part of the CIC R&D research exhibit and an NGI panel describedthe NGI programs across the agencies, their purposes, accomplishments todate, current status, future schedules, milestones, and expected achievements.
In FY1998 several agencies granted NGI awards. The NGI Supernet Program,which creates a transcontinental testbed 1000 times faster than currentInternet connection speeds linking 20 institutions, was established viaa DARPA award to two consortia. In addition to Supernet, DARPA awarded27 other NGI awards totaling approximately $50M. The National Library ofMedicine announced 24 contract award totaling $2.3M to medical institutionsand companies that will develop innovative medical projects benefitingfrom NGI capabilities. The NSF awarded grants to 36 universities for linksto the NSF's high performance Backbone Network Service or to other approvedhigh performance networks.
In February 1997 President Clinton established the President's InformationTechnology Advisory Committee (PITAC) to provide the NSTC, through theAssistant to the President for Science and Technology, guidance and adviceon all areas of high performance computing, communications, and informationtechnologies. The members bring a broad range of expertise and interestfrom business and universities.
In June 1998 PITAC sent the President a letter urging that public investmentsin computing, communication, and other information technology researchbe significantly expanded to ensure an ever-increasing standard of livingand quality of life for all Americans. The President then requested thatthe Assistant to the President for Science and Technology prepare an ambitiousnew research program in computation, communication, and other areas ofinformation technology. The PITAC elaborated on its findings in an InterimReport to the President submitted in August 1998. The Interim Report hasprovided valuable guidance to the Assistant to the President for Scienceand Technology for developing the R&D investment initiative, InformationTechnology for the Twenty First Century (IT2) that was announcedby the Vice President 1999.
In September 1998 PITAC convened six panels, comprised of PITAC membersand other non-governmental experts, to elaborate upon the Interim Report'srecommendations and to provide input for PITAC's final report, which willbe presented to the President in February 1999.
On May 4, 1998, the President announced the formation of the Partnershipfor Advancing Technologies in Housing (PATH) to develop, demonstrate, anddeploy housing technologies, designs and practices that can significantlyimprove the quality of housing without raising costs. Under guidance fromOSTP, Federal government agencies, led by the Department of Housing andUrban Development and the DOE with support from the Departments of Commerceand Labor, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the EPA,have partnered with builders, developers, product suppliers, insurers andfinanciers. Over 100 innovative technologies and 12 best practices arenow described on the PATH web site. The site also provides a forum forbuilders to describe their experiences using the new technologies.
A similar Partnership for Advancing the Infrastructure and its Renewal(PAIR) is being formed to provide the technology to rebuild and revitalizethe nation's civil infrastructure, including transportation, telecommunications,energy, water supply and sewage, and institutional facilities.
Federal agencies are also supporting an effort by the National Conferenceof States on Building Codes and Standards, along with 55 other concernedprivate sector organizations, to streamline the building regulatory processby developing model processes. The model processes will be based on casestudies of system improvements achieved in various parts of the country.
Even though the United States has led the world in the science and developmentof advanced materials and processing, international competitors are rapidlygaining ground on U.S. firms. If the nation is to maintain its leadershipin materials R&D and the many technologies that depend on it, we mustaddress this problem. Materials science and engineering are cross-cuttingfields that impact applications as varied as medical implants, communications,transportation, and aerospace. Therefore, communication between materialsscientists and engineers is crucial to effective implementation of researchresults in advanced materials and processing methods.
In FY 1998 the Federal R&D investment in materials S&T was estimatedat $1695.8 M and the FY 1999 investment is estimated at $1871.3 M. Thisinvestment includes the ongoing R&D base that supports the missionsof nine Federal departments and agencies including the Department of Commerce,Defense, Energy, Agriculture, Transportation, Health and Human Services,NASA, NSF, and EPA. Strategic investment will overcome obstacles in theproduction and use of advanced materials technologies. Ideas such as cost-sharedresearch with industrial and academic partners in critical precompetitivetechnology areas and international cooperation on selected topics withassured benefits for the United States will help maintain our R&D base.
In 1998 the Subcommittee focused its efforts on developing a reportentitled, The Federal Program in Materials Science and Technology,that describes the Federal materials S&T program and recommends newefforts that can address the needs of key economic sectors, such as basicmaterials industries, transportation, communications, health, nationalsecurity, environment, and energy. The report addresses virtually everyaspect of the materials cycle for the majority of materials classes. Variousaspects of the materials cycle are addressed by Materials Technology WorkingGroups, focused on metals, structural ceramics, non destructive evaluation,composites, electronic materials, and environmentally benign materialstechnology.
The purpose of the Transportation R&D Subcommittee is to conductstrategic planning for Federal transportation R&D to ensure fast, safe,secure, efficient, accessible and global transport of people, goods andfreight which meet the vital interests of the United States and enhancesthe quality of life of the American people.
In FY 1998 the subcommittee focused on expanding the report FederalTransportation Science and Technology Strategy into a national strategyand implementing the major public-
private partnerships identified in the Strategy through an NSTCTransportation Technology Plan and extensive outreach.
The partnerships being developed include the following initiatives:
The subcommittee sponsored a National Council/Transportation ResearchBoard Committee on the Federal Transportation R&D Strategic PlanningProcess that reviewed the goals, plans and status of each of the partnerships;identified the appropriate Federal role in each; and suggested supportingstrategies the government might adopt.
The subcommittee also released a report, AMovingForward: Federal Transportation Research for the 21st Century,@which provides an overview of Federal transportation enabling researchidentified in the Strategy. This includes: human performance andbehavior; advanced materials; computers, information and communicationsystems; energy and environment; sensing and measurement; and tools fortransportation modeling, design and construction.
The subcommittee was also active internationally, supporting the developmentof the AInitial Five-YearPlan for Increased Cooperation in the Field of North America TransportationTechnology,@ which wassigned by the United States, Canada, and Mexico in June 1998. Members alsoparticipated in a National Research Council Board conference between theEuropean Union and the United States entitled ANewVistas in Transatlantic Science and Technology Cooperation,@which included a special session on Transportation Challenges for the 21stCentury. This conference will provide the framework for implementing theS&T agreement signed by the European Union and the United States in1998.
Additional information concerning these activities can be obtained byaccessingthe new National Transportation Science and Technology Homepage at http://scitech.dot.gov.The Homepage also provides an online capability for those individuals ororganization who wish to participate in the transportation R&D strategicplanning process.
The new Nano Science, Engineering, and Technology working group strives,with other national stakeholders such as state and local governments, industryand academe, to develop a vision for the evolution of nano technology.The working group identifies scientific and technological challenges relatingto the implementation of nano technology, encourages industry-led effortsto set priorities for long-term R&D in nano technology, develops aframework for establishing Federal nano technology R&D priorities,and provides mechanisms for Federal cooperation with industry, nationallaboratories and academe. The working group defines nano technology astechnology that exploits the novel and significantly improved properties,phenomena and processes of systems that are intermediate in size betweenisolated molecules and bulk materials. According to this definition, nanotechnology must also capitalize upon our ability to manufacture and utilizesuch structures, components and devices through the controlled tailoringof physical, chemical and biological properties by control at the atomicand molecular levels.
Through the NSTC, Federal agencies and departments have identified aset of R&D areas that are important national efforts requiring coordinatedinvestments across several agencies. As with all R&D investments, theseinteragency priority areas should reflect our objectives of maintainingexcellence, maximizing effectiveness, and minimizing costs. This memorandum,rather than providing an exhaustive list of all Administration R&Dpriorities, focuses on those activities that require a significant levelof interagency coordination.
The Administration's approach to S&T investments is guided by severalfundamental principles. In general, Federal R&D investments should:a) sustain and nurture America's world-leading science and technology enterprise,through pursuit of specific agency missions and through stewardship ofcritical research fields and scientific facilities; b) strengthen science,math, and engineering education, ensure their broad availability, and contributeto preparing the next generation of scientists and engineers; c) focuson activities that require a Federal presence to attain national goals,including national security, environmental quality, economic growth andprosperity, and human health and well being; and/or d) promote internationalcooperation in S&T.
More specifically, in making investment decisions on Federal R&D,the Administration will:
We encourage agencies to include the following R&D goals and measuresin their agency performance plans. The Government Wide Performance Planthat accompanied the President's FY 1999 budget included similar measuresfor Function 250 activities.
The NSTC coordinates selected interagency S&T investment priorities.Interagency priorities that require high-level attention in the President'sbudget submission to Congress are managed as interagency crosscuts. TheNSTC has also identified a number of special emphasis areas that requirebudget oversight within the Executive branch but that do not require formalbudget crosscuts. These special emphasis areas do not constitute a comprehensivelist of all NSTC priorities. The NSTC is actively involved in a numberof interagency R&D issues that, unlike the issues outlined below, donot require near-term Administration policy or budget decisions, but arenevertheless important, ongoing activities.
The FY 2000 budget includes four interagency R&D crosscuts. Agenciesand departments should be prepared to demonstrate their commitment to thesepriorities, if relevant to their missions, as part of their budget discussionswith, and FY 2000 budget requests to, the Office of Management and Budget(OMB), as well as in their responses to the Government Performance andResults Act (GPRA). OMB's Circular A-11, a revised version of which willbe available in the early summer 1999, outlines the definitions of thesecrosscuts and how agencies must submit data to OMB. The four cross-cuttingR&D areas are:
To promote more uniform management and accounting, each interagencyprogram includes the following:
Areas of Special Emphasis
In addition to the cross-cutting programs listed above, the NSTC isalso coordinating activities in a variety of other fields. In the followingareas of special emphasis, the NSTC will be working to understand and compareongoing programs across agencies and to identify gaps and overlap in theseprograms. Departments and agencies participating in NSTC activities inthese special emphasis areas will be asked to report on their participationin the NSTC working group during their budget hearings this fall. OMB andOSTP staff who have also participated in the working groups will attendthese hearings and engage the presenters in a dialogue on how the departmentor agency is supporting the President's policies in these areas. In thecoming months, the Administration may make significant policy and budgetdecisions in the following areas of special emphasis:
President Clinton established the PCAST at the same time as NSTC toadvise the President on matters involving S&T and to assist the NSTCin securing private sector involvement in its activities. PCAST, composedof distinguished individuals forum industry, education, and research institutions,and other non-governmental organizations, serves as the high level privatesector advisory group for the President and the NSTC. In 1998 PCAST providedthe following reports:
Teaming With Life: Investing in Science to Understand and Use America'sLiving Capital (June 1998)
Over the last few decades, a new paradigm has emerged: Improving andprotecting our environment is compatible with growing the nation's economy.As part of this paradigm,
we have come to recognize the essential linkage between the economyand the environment. We now understand that the sustained bounty of ournation's lands and waters and of its native plant and animal communitiesis the natural capital on which our economy is founded. We also realizethat a sound forward-looking economic strategy requires that we protectthis natural capital, rather than damage it and then spend millions orbillions of dollars attempting to recreate what nature has already givenus. To protect our natural capital, our Nation's biodiversity and the ecosystemswithin which it thrives, we need to have an extensive and frequently updatedenvironmental knowledge base. This knowledge base is required to evaluatealternative plans for managing biodiversity and ecosystems as we work tooptimize the union between the environment and the economy. The reportoffers strategies as to how to amplify our knowledge that will allow usto accomplish these goals.
Letter Report on R&D Partnerships, released March 6, 1998,reviewed the effectiveness of Federal technology partnership programs basedon three studies and noted areas for improving programmatic effectivenessand efficiency.
Letter Report on Global Cooperation to Develop and CommercializeEnergy Technologies to Meet the Global Challenge of Climate Change,released May 15, 1998. The report advised that the issues of climate changepresents the United States and the world with one of the greatest challengesof the 21st century. The report recommended development of aplan to address the challenge of global impact of human activities throughtechnology and development of a global collaborative framework in greenhouse-gasreductions.
Letter Report on the Education Research Initiative, releasedJune 8, 1998. The report advised that the quantity, quality, and organizationof education research in this country need renewed attention. The reportrecommended that the FY 1999 spending constitute an initial investmentin building the methodological human, and institutional resources thatwill move the United States to a $1.5 billion annual program of peer reviewed,politically independent, reliable, and cumulative research in educationthat draws on a broad base of expertise.
Letter Report on the FY 2000 Budget, released November 4, 1998.The report urges the President to be bold in the FY 2000 budget and tosupport strongly a broad S&T portfolio. PCAST advised the Presidentto continue to focus Federal resources on strengthening the U.S. researchcapacity through an approach such as the 21st Century ResearchFund and to broaden this concept to encompass the basic research programsof the DOD.
Presidential Directive on Achieving Greater Diversity Throughoutthe U.S. Scientific and Technical Work Force
The President directed the NSTC to develop recommendations within 180days on how to achieve greater diversity throughout our scientific andtechnical work force. The NSTC recommendations will detail ways for theFederal Government to bolster mentoring in S&T fields and to work withthe private sector and academia to strengthen mentoring in higher education.
Program Guide to Federally Funded Environment and Natural ResourcesR&D, February 1998
Our Changing Planet: The FY 1999 U.S. Global Change Research Program,AnInvestment in Science for the Nation's Future, March 1998
National Science and Technology Council 1997 Annual Report, April1998
A National Obligation/Planning for Health Preparedness for and Readjustmentof the Military, Veterans, and Their Families after Future Deployments,August 1998
FY 2000 Interagency Research and Development Priorities (Jones-LewMemorandum), June 1998
Networked Computing for the 21st Century/Supplement tothe President's FY 99 Budget,
Transportation Technology Plan, November 1998
Public/Private Partnerships: Implications for Innovation in Transportation,December 1998
Reports are also available on the NSTC Home Page via links from theOSTP home page at:
Office ofScience and Technology Policy
1600 PennsylvaniaAve, N.W.
President and First Lady | Vice President and Mrs. Gore