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Civilian Research & Development

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March 14, 2000

To accelerate the pace of discovery across all disciplines in science and technology, the President has requested an unprecedented $3 billion increase in the 21st Century Research Fund, the largest increase in civilian research in a generation. The President's FY2001 requested increase for the 21st Century Research Fund includes a $1 billion increase in biomedical research at the National Institutes of Health and double the largest dollar increase for the National Science Foundation in its 50 year history.  These investments will ensure that science and technology will continue to fuel economic growth and allow Americans to lead longer, healthier lives.  These investments also will enable America to continue to lead in the 21st century by increasing support in all scientific and engineering disciplines, including biomedical research, nanotechnology, information technology, clean energy, and university-based research.  Specifically, this infusion of funds will enable researchers to tackle important scientific and technological challenges, and will lead to:

Continued American prosperity in the 21st Century: With rapid growth, increased productivity and rising standards of living, the U.S. economy is thriving in large part because of our technological leadership.  Science and technology have become the engine of America's economic growth: information technology alone accounts for 1/3 of U.S. economic growth, and is creating jobs paying almost 80 percent more than the average private-sector wage.  Many of the technologies, such as the Internet, that are fueling today's economy are the result of government investments in the 1960's and 1970's.

Longer, healthier lives for all Americans:  In the last 100 years, the life expectancy of the average American has increased by almost 30 years, as a result of breakthroughs such as antibiotics.  Today, we are on the verge of even greater scientific advances, and continued investment in health-related research could lead to greater life expectancies and better quality of life.

Educating America's high-tech workforce: The President's investment in university-based research will help spur innovations in new technologies and treatment, while preparing the next generation of leaders in science, engineering and technology.

Cleaner energy for a cleaner environment: Research can help America create cleaner sources of energy and energy-efficient technologies, such as fuel cells that emit only water, cars that get 80 miles per gallon, and bioenergy derived from new cash crops.

New insights into the world around us: Increases in funding for science-based research can lead to revolutionary breakthroughs in our understanding of the world around us and beyond.

Specific Initiatives
1. $1 billion increase in biomedical research at the National Institutes of Health.  This funding level will support research in areas such as diabetes, brain disorders, cancer, genetic medicine, disease prevention strategies, and development of an AIDS vaccine.

2. A new $495 million National Nanotechnology Initiative.  Nanotechnology - the ability to manipulate individual atoms and molecules - could revolutionize the 21st century in the same way that the transistor and the Internet led to the Information Age.  Increased investments in nanotechnology could lead to breakthroughs such as molecular computers that can store the contents of the Library of Congress in a device the size of a sugar cube, and new materials as strong as steel but ten times lighter.

3. A $675 million increase in the National Science Foundation -- double the largest dollar increase in NSF's history.  This increase will boost university-based research and ensure balanced support for all science and engineering disciplines.  NSF accounts for half of all non-health university-based research.

4. A $594 million increase in information technology research, to a total of $2.3 billion.  This increase in information technology research could lead to advances such as high-speed wireless networks that can bring distance learning and telemedicine to isolated rural areas; and supercomputers that can more accurately predict tornadoes and hurricanes, and more rapidly develop life-saving drugs.

Office of Science and Technology Policy
1600 Pennsylvania Ave, N.W
Washington, DC 20502

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