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III. Implementation Plan

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Strategic Planning Document -
Civilian Industrial Technology
Research and Development


A. Overview

Partnership with private industry to promote long-term, environmentally sustainable economic growth and create high-quality jobs is the central purpose of the Committee on Civilian Industrial Technology. The CCIT's activities are shaped by these goals.

The CCIT's activities with industry fall into two general groups: those with special relevance to particular industrial sectors, and those that are more broadly applicable across a large swath of industrial sectors. In both cases, industry participation is essential. For example, the CCIT's Subcommittee on Manufacturing Infrastructure, which is responsible for manufacturing process technologies relevant to many industries, consults closely with a broad range of industries on selecting areas that are appropriate for focused attention.

The selection of technology areas that are relevant to particular industrial sectors requires even closer participation by industry. Several factors have guided the selections so far. Others may be added, based on similar considerations, and some will move out as they reach maturity. The factors involved can be summed up as follows:

  • industry identification of a clear need for cooperation with government R&D to solve technology problems, and strong commitment from the industry;

  • potential for benefit to the U.S. economy, in terms of value added to GDP and the preservation or creation of high-quality jobs;

  • potential for technological advance, with broad application to many companies in the selected industrial sector and possible spillovers to other industries;

  • potential for benefit to "public good" goals that are outside the market economy, such as environmental quality and foreign policy objectives;

  • potential for government investment to make a difference -- to fill gaps left by private investment because the risks are too great, the required investment is too heavy, or the potential rewards are too distant or are too readily available to all firms in the industry, investors and non-investors alike (i.e., the social returns outstrip private returns).

The CCIT initiatives adopted so far that are focused on specific industrial sectors include the Partnership for a New Generation of Vehicles (Clean Car), the National Electronics Manufacturing Initiative, and the Building and Construction Initiative. CCIT's Subcommittees on Manufacturing Infrastructure and Materials Technologies deal with R&D and allied technology issues that have broad application across a number of industries. Together with NSTC's Committee on the Environment and Natural Resources (CENR), CCIT has established a Joint Subcommittee on Environmental Technology, and is working with other NSTC committees on a new initiative to support R&D in bioprocessing, bioremediation, and commercialization of these biotechnologies.

Note that some initiatives which are closely linked with industry and economic growth are lodged in other committees of the National Science and Technology Council; for example, the Transportation Committee oversees aeronautics and works closely with the aircraft industry on issues of manufacturing performance and international competitiveness. Likewise, some other committees have interests in or joint responsibilities for certain CCIT activities. For instance, CCIT cooperates with the Committee on Fundamental Science and other NSTC committees on biotechnologies, and with the Committee on Information and Communication on electronics. There are inevitably some overlaps in responsibilities of NSTC committees.

B. Schedules, Deliverables, and Evaluation

For focused initiatives, like the Partnership for a New Generation of Vehicles, it is feasible and desirable to set specific goals, milestones, and deliverables. This is true also of individual projects within larger programs, such as demonstration projects on agile manufacturing in selected industries. The program or project can then be monitored to see whether there is reasonable success in meeting the milestones. Focused programs or projects that do not meet the milestones will be redirected or closed out.

For broader programs, such as the National Electronics Manufacturing Initiative, it is not always feasible to set timetables and deliverables at the program level (though they are included for individual projects within the broader programs). However, evaluation of the overall program is still necessary; other approaches may be developed. One possible approach for these broader programs is to evaluate them in three different time periods.

  • Short term (2 years) evaluation: industry participation, as measured by numbers of proposals and extent of cost-sharing.

  • Medium term (5 years) evaluation: micro outcomes, i.e., how many funded projects have met their goals; how many exceeded expectations; how does the failure rate compare with the expected rate; how many and what kind of jobs resulted from the projects; also, are there repeat proposals from industry participants, and what are their qualitative opinions of the program?

  • Long term (10 years) evaluation: broader effects on the economy, insofar as they can be identified, including new business creation, numbers and kinds of jobs created, effects on local and regional economies, contribution to the national economy.

An Interagency Committee on Federal Technology Transfer working group has proposed that common measurements be made for all technology partnership programs. Measurements are needed in four areas, for both the short term and the long term:

  • Process. The means and mechanisms by which things get done, including such issues as timeliness, responsiveness, communication, and cost-effectiveness.

  • Results. Includes actual technical outcomes, meeting of milestones, generation of intellectual property, occurrences of transfer, etc.

  • Impacts. Focuses primarily on economic and social benefits of the transfer including such things as jobs created, gross sales, environmental benefits, energy efficiencies, improvements in health care, etc.

  • Customer Satisfaction. Focuses on obtaining feedback from the customer on their satisfaction with different aspects of the relationships.

C. CCIT Initiatives

1. Partnership for a New Generation of Vehicles (PNGV)

The goal is to develop by 2003 a family-size car that can match a conventional car in performance, amenities, safety, and cost -- and get the equivalent of 80 miles to the gallon. The challenge has been likened to that of putting a man on the moon, but it is more daunting, because it has to meet a market test. Getting there will require the combined best efforts of government and industry resources.

The PNGV is based on just such a collaboration. It was begun on September 23, 1993, when President Clinton, Vice-President Gore, and top officials of the U.S. car industry announced a historic new partnership aimed at strengthening U.S. competitiveness while reducing environmental burdens and American dependence on foreign oil. Recognizing the central role the automobile plays in the U.S. economy and the lives of most Americans, the partners concluded that the industry must look for bold technological advances to stay strong into the next century -- expanding business at home and abroad, maintaining good jobs, and sustaining economic growth.

The PNGV program is built around three objectives:

  • Development of advanced manufacturing techniques that make it easier to get new automobiles and auto components into the marketplace quickly

  • Use of new technologies for near-term improvements in auto efficiency, safety, and emissions

  • Research leading to production prototypes of vehicles three times more fuel efficient than today's cars, with no sacrifice in comfort, performance, or price; this includes exploration in such advanced technologies as fuel cells and ultracapacitors

Seven Federal agencies are coordinating work on the project with the Big Three U.S. auto makers (Chrysler, Ford, and General Motors) in the United States Council for Automotive Research (USCAR), an umbrella organization for pre-competitive research. The PNGV partners have drawn up a detailed research plan, with time lines and funding requirements for various elements in the plan. Over the life of the plan, funding will be shared roughly equally between government and industry, with government contributing a greater share to basic research and to technologically riskier projects, and industry putting up a greater share as practical results get closer.

PNGV is not an exclusive partnership between the government and the Big Three U.S. auto makers. Full consideration is being given to anyone with serious research ideas to contribute to the program. Any company or non-profit entity can present proposals for the competitively awarded cost-shared grants, cooperative agreements, or contracts that make up the program.

Evaluation. The PNGV requires unprecedented cooperation among government agencies and industry partners, and it is a long-term endeavor. Overall progress and performance will be assessed annually by an independent review panel operating under the auspices of the National Research Council, and a systems analysis approach will provide the technical metrics and overall technical guidance for the project. The metrics will reflect the performance improvements needed to attain the goals stated above.

Table 1. PNGV Funding (Budget authority, in millions of dollars)

FY 1995

FY 1996

Funding for the PNGV is drawn from existing DOE programs, awards of the Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) program, Cooperative Research and Development Agreements, and the like. Several ATP and TRP awards contribute to PNGV objectives, but are not included in this budget table.

Analysis by the NSTC shows that the budget levels presented in the table reflect adequate agency attention to the PNGV effort. Several shortfall areas identified in FY 1995 were addressed by the FY 1996 agency requests, which also reflect redirection of existing programs and priorities within the agencies to minimize duplication of effort and support the Initiative.

2. Building and Construction Initiative

The goal is to develop better construction technologies to improve the competitive performance of the U.S. industry, raise the life cycle performance of buildings, and protect public safety and the environment. The initiative responds to a high level of industry interest, and combines government and industry goals.

Construction is one of the nation's largest industries, with employment of 6 million and a total value in 1993 of $470 billion in new residential housing, commercial and industrial buildings, and public works, and over $300 billion more in renovations. U.S. building technology lags behind that of foreign countries; in 19 areas of construction technology, the U.S. is considered by experts to lead in just four. Investment in R&D is modest. For all construction R&D was about $2.1 billion in 1992, largely for public works; about $900 million of this was from private sources. Furthermore, construction work is unsafe; the incidence of injury is among the highest of all industries.

The initiative has set these quantitative goals, based on industry input, to be achieved by 2003:

Better Constructed Facilities

  • 50 percent reduction in delivery time
  • 50 percent reduction in operation, maintenance, and energy costs
  • 30 percent improvement in productivity and comfort
  • 50 percent fewer occupant-related injuries and illnesses
  • 50 percent less waste and pollution
  • 50 percent more durability and flexibility

Improved Health and Safety of Construction Workers

  • 50 percent reduction in construction work injuries and illnesses

These goals will be achieved with improved housing affordability, and, where possible, with reduction in both initial and lifetime costs.

Seven areas of technology have been identified as important contributors to achieving the goals: information and decision; automation in design, construction and operation; high performance materials, components, and systems; environmental quality; risk reduction technologies; performance standards system; and human factors.

Government and industry participants in the initiative also recognize that improved technologies alone are not enough for meeting its goals, especially the goal of life cycle quality. Major non-technical barriers include:

  • lack of leadership in government and industry;

  • regulatory barriers, especially in outdated and inconsistent local codes, and the lack of a national system for approval of innovative products;

  • potential exposure to large liability for innovative products;

  • adversarial relations among participants, including builders, owners, and regulators; and

  • financial disincentives for innovation, especially the overemphasis on first cost, and the mobility of work forces, which makes trade secrets infeasible and patent protection difficult.

The initiative is dedicated to removing non-technical barriers to innovation, as well as putting greater emphasis on R&D, and aligning government programs appropriately with industry needs. Deployment activities will include improvements of standards and codes, education and training, and demonstration projects showcasing improved technologies.

Evaluation. The baseline for measuring progress toward the goals will be today's business practices. All interested groups from industry and the public sector will be involved in evaluating the initiative's effect on improving the quality of constructed facilities and enhancing the competitiveness of the U. S. industry, as well as in developing the program.

Table 2. Construction and Building Funding (Budget authority, in millions of dollars)

FY 1995

FY 1996

Agency contributions address a broad range of construction and building issues; increases requested in FY 1996 funding levels coupled with realignment of some existing programs within the participating agencies provide improved, but not yet sufficient, progress toward goals.

3. National Electronics Manufacturing Initiative (NEMI)

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Civilian Industrial Technology - Table of Contents

I. Executive Summary

II. Strategic Plan

III. Implementation Plan

Strategic Planning Document - Civilian Industrial Technology