I am pleased to transmitthe 1997 Annual Report of the National Science and Technology Council. The president established the NSTC in 1993 to coordinate the diverse parts of the Federal research and development enterprise, especially activities that require and utilize resources of several Federal agencies. In its four years of operations, the NSTC has made substantial progress toward integrating our science and technology investments with the overall national agenda.
The NSTC is a successful experiment in governance of Federal science and technology investments.It capitalizes on the strengths of the mission agencies, but because itis a cabinet-level, interagency council, it avoids the "stovepipes" that can hinder innovation and creativity in Federal programs. As shown in this report, NSTC also encourages cooperation among the public and private sectors,with payoffs in new research and technologies that far exceed the reasonable expectations for either party acting alone.
Thomas Jefferson wisely noted that,
"As new discoveries are made, new truths discovered, and mannersand opinions
change with the change of circumstances, institutions must advance also to keep
pace with the times." In its dedication to reinventgovernment, the Clinton Administration
has lived up to that sage admonition,and the NSTC is a vivid example of the
benefits that can accrue from changesin institutions. It has been an honor to
help lead NSTC through its formativeyears, and I look forward to many contributions
from this outstanding interagencycouncil as we enter the 21st century.
NATIONAL SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY GOALS
1997 ACTIVITIES OF NSTC WORKING GROUPS ANDCOMMITTEES
NSTC WORKING GROUPS Federal Laboratory Reform
Global Positioning System
Aviation Safety and Security
Health Preparednessfor Future Troop DeploymentsCOMMITTEE ON ENVIRONMENT AND NATURAL RESOURCESEnvironmental Monitoring and Research Initiative
U.S. Global Change Research Program
Air Quality Research
Research on Ecological Systems
Endocrine Disrupter ResearchInitiative
Research on Toxicsand Risk Assessment
Researchon Reducing the Impacts of Natural Disasters
ProgramGuide to Federally Funded Environment and Natural Resources R&DCOMMITTEE ON INTERNATIONAL SCIENCE, ENGINEERING,AND TECHNOLOGYEmerging and Re-emerging Infectious Diseases
COMMITTEE ON NATIONAL SECURITYNonproliferation
International Technology TransferCOMMITTEE ON SCIENCEReview of the University/Federal GovernmentPartnership
Cloning/National Bioethics Advisory Commission
Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching
Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and EngineeringMentoring
Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientistsand Engineers
COMMITTEE ON TECHNOLOGYPartnership for a New Generation of Vehicles
Partnership for Advanced Technologies for Housing
United States Innovation Partnership
Computing, Information, and Communications/Researchand Development
Next Generation Internet
Advisory Committee on High-PerformanceComputing and Communications, Information Technology, and the Next GenerationInternet
B- Activities of the President's Committee of Advisors on Science and Technology(PCAST)
C- Presidential Directive
The Clinton Administrationis changing the nature of Federal S&T policy and policymaking tomeet the challenges of the 21st century. The President establishedthe NSTC in 1993 to coordinate the diverse parts of the Federal researchand development (R&D) enterprise and to foster synergy among the variedtalents of the Federal S&T workforce. The NSTC completed its fourthyear of operation in November 1997.
During 1997, the NSTC's committeesand working groups focused on activities that contributed to the President'sgoals for S&T. In addition, NSTC worked closely with the Office ofManagement and Budget (OMB) to develop R&D budget guidance for theFederal departments and agencies to help integrate our science and technologyinvestments with the overall national agenda.
NationalScience and Technology Goals
At the beginning of his Administration,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 1997, the NSTCundertook activities related to the following broadly stated S&T goals:
Through the NSTC process,Federal agencies and departments identify priority research areas thatare important to national efforts and require investments across agencies.These interagency priority areas reflect objectives of maintaining excellence,maximizing effectiveness, and minimizing costs with R&D investments.For the fourth consecutive year, the OMB and NSTC issued broad R&Dpolicy principles and goals to guide individual agencies in preparing theirFY 1999 budgets. Agencies were instructed to adhere to R&D investmentprinciples that give priority to Federal research and education programsthat:
Over the past four yearsthe NSTC has become the primary mechanism for coordinating and strengtheningFederal R&D. During 1997, an internal evaluation of the NSTC identifiedopportunities to capitalize on experience and streamline operations. NSTCmerged some activities and reduced the number of standing committees fromnine to the following five:
President's Committee of Advisors on Science and Technology
President Clinton establishedthe President's Committee of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST)to advise him on matters involving S&T, and to assist the NSTC in securingprivate sector involvement in its activities. The PCAST, which consistsof distinguished individuals from industry, education and research institutions,and other non-governmental organizations, serves as the highest level privatesector advisory group for the President and the NSTC. The direct link tothe activities of the NSTC reflects the Administration's intention to incorporateadvice from the private sector in developing the S&T budgets and policiesof this Administration and to secure private sector advice on the implementationand evaluation of budgets and policies. Appendix B describes activitiesof the PCAST for 1997.
The NSTC, through its Committees,focuses Federal R&D activities on the President's goals for scienceand technology. These goals include:
The diversified Federal researchportfolio serves the multiplicity of missions for which our Federal departmentsand agencies are responsible. This distributed system of research fundingprovides strong linkages between research and the core agency missions,but also places a premium on coordination and complementation of agencyprograms. The NSTC, which in 1997 completed its fourth year of operation,is improving such coordination, so that our Federal investment is beingused to the best advantage in the national interest.
NSTC WORKING GROUPS
Some activities undertakenby the NSTC span the interests of all standing committees. These activitiesare managed as ad hoc working groups. In 1997, four efforts functionedin this capacity.
During its first term, theClinton/Gore Administration began to review and reform the Federal S&T(FS&T) system with the goal of realizing greater service to the nationat a lower cost. One NSTC effort focused on improving the cost-effectiveness,productivity, and scientific quality of the Federal laboratory system.This effort includes agency intramural research, research performed atnational laboratories or other Federally Funded R&D Centers (FFRDCs),and the provision and operation of major, shared federally funded scientificuser facilities. Together these performers receive about 40% of civilianFS&T investment
OSTP coordinated a study,published in March 1997, that assessed the progress of the Department ofDefense (DOD), the Department of Energy (DOE), and the National Aeronauticsand Space Administration (NASA) in implementing Presidential Decision Directive(PDD) NSTC – 5, September 1995, to focus laboratory missions, reduce excessiveagency oversight, and streamline administrative processes. The study confirmedthat the agencies are making progress, but much work remains. As a result,an NSTC Interagency Working Group (IWG ) was established during the summerof 1997 to implement the recommendations and improve information flow amongall S&T agencies with intramural research programs. The report of theIWG should be available in mid-1998.
Global Positioning System(GPS)
On March 29, 1996, the Presidentsigned Presidential Decision Directive NSTC-6, establishing national policyfor the management and use of the U.S. Global Positioning System (GPS)and related U.S. Government augmentations. The primary goals of this policyare to strengthen and maintain U.S. national security, enhance our economiccompetitiveness, and encourage the acceptance of GPS as a standard forinternational use.
In 1997, the Secretariesof Defense and Transportation chartered an Interagency GPS Executive Boardto manage GPS and its U.S. Government augmentations and to provide policyguidance for U.S. efforts to assure global acceptance of GPS. DOD and theDepartment of Transportation (DOT) reached an agreement assuring the availabilityof a second frequency to civilian GPS users, a major step towards acceptanceof GPS as an international standard. In response to the President's policy,the Department of State (DOS) initiated formal consultations with Japan,the European Union (EU), and Russia on development of bilateral agreementson GPS cooperation.
Aviation Safety and Security
On February 12, 1997, theWhite House Commission on Aviation Safety and Security submitted its FinalReport to the President. Many of the Commission's recommendations for improvingaviation safety and security or for modernizing the nation's air trafficcontrol (ATC) system require research and development or technology implementation.
NSTC agencies are workingto ensure that the R&D needed to address its recommendations is inplace and fully coordinated. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration(NASA), the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), and DOD were asked toprepare a joint S&T plan for implementing the Commission's recommendationsthat details agency roles and responsibilities, partnership opportunities,and five-year budgets. NASA has stepped up to the aviation safety challengesby reprogramming
$500 million over the nextfive years to R&D aimed at reducing the aviation fatal accident rate.Planning for this research initiative is being closely coordinated withthe FAA and DOD through NASA's Aviation Safety Investment Strategy Team.
HealthPreparedness for Future Troop Deployments
The Presidential AdvisoryCommittee on Gulf War Veterans' Illnesses (PAC) issued their Final Reporton December 31, 1996, which included a recommendation that a PresidentialReview Directive (PRD) be initiated. As a result, PRD-5, Developmentof Interagency Plans to Address Health Preparedness for and Readjustmentof Veterans and Their Families After Future Deployments, was enactedApril 21, 1997. The PAC highlighted seven broad categories to be addressedby this review, which have been grouped into the following areas: deploymenthealth, record keeping, research, and risk communications.
An NSTC IWG was establishedto oversee the progress of the review. The IWG established separate taskforces to address planning needs associated with each of the four areas.Each task force produced a strategic planning document to be integratedinto a final report by spring 1998.
COMMITTEE ON ENVIRONMENTAND NATURAL RESOURCES
The purpose of the Committeeon Environment and Natural Resources (CENR) is to foster and implementa coordinated multi-agency and interdisciplinary focus for Federal researchand development resources in pursuit of the goals of sustainable use andmanagement of our natural resources, maintaining biological diversity,maintaining a safe water resource, improving air quality, reducing exposureto toxic substances, limiting losses from natural hazards, understandingclimate change, and minimizing ozone depletion.
Environmental Monitoringand Research Initiative
A fundamental improvementin the way the U.S. monitors its environment is required to meet the challengesof the next several decades. Current monitoring programs do not provideintegrated data across multiple natural resources at the temporal and spatialscales needed to develop policies based on current scientific understandingof ecosystem processes. An integrated framework for environmental monitoringand assessment will enable the evaluation of the Nation's natural resourcesand their sustainability on national and regional scales. Such an integratedframework is essential for an accurate description of environmental conditions.Current programs, while effective at tracking specific components of theecosystems, often are deficient in providing information on how differentcomponents interact.
Significant progress wasachieved in the Environmental Monitoring and Research Initiative. A cooperativearrangement among government, universities, environmental groups, and industryhas been established to produce the initial draft of the "report card"on the health of the Nation's ecosystems called for by the Vice President.A pilot project has also been initiated in the Mid-Atlantic region to demonstratethe effectiveness of integrated efforts on a regional scale. Finally, twobroad scientific issues, nutrient cycling and biological populations, arebeing analyzed as a means to investigate the role of a national networkof index sites to complement monitoring information provided by surveysand remote sensing.
U.S. Global Change ResearchProgram (USGCRP)
USGCRP's fundamental purposeis to increase understanding of the Earth system and thus provide a soundscientific basis for national and international decision making on globalchange issues. The USGCRP focuses on four key areas of Earth system studies:seasonal to inter-annual climate variability; climate change over decadesto centuries; changes in ozone, UV radiation, and atmospheric chemistry;and, changes in land cover and terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. Otherimportant activities include development of an integrated global observingand monitoring system; construction of a data management system that willpromote full and open access to global change data, products, and informationservices; involvement of scientists from the United States in internationalresearch and assessment activities; and, promotion of scientific literacyon global change issues through public education. The USGCRP agencies madeimportant contributions to the authorship and review of a special reportof the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) entitled TheRegional Impacts of Climate Change: An Assessment of Vulnerability,and to several IPCC technical papers on other key issues.
A national assessment ofthe consequences of climate change for the United States was initiatedduring 1997. Eight of a series of 20 regional workshops, to be completedby mid-1998, were held around the country. A National Forum on ClimateChange Impacts was held in Washington, DC, November 12-13, 1997 to explorethe relationship between regional and national-scale impacts and to continueplanning for a national assessment. The National Scientific Assessment,to be completed during 1999, will become a contribution from the U.S. tothe IPCC Third Assessment Report. The first series of reports from theassessment is scheduled to be completed in 1999. In addition, USGCRP agenciesdeveloped plans to enhance their consequence-based research in order tobuild the base for improved national assessments in the future.
Air Quality Research
The NSTC agencies supportan array of research activities aimed at improving our understanding ofatmospheric processes and the effect of human activities on the atmosphere.While the Nation's commitment to better air quality is clear and unequivocal,the best means for attaining it are far from clear. By enhancing the effectivenessand productivity of U.S. air quality research, we will provide a betterscientific basis for decision making on policies designed to improve airquality.
The North American ResearchStrategy for Tropospheric Ozone (NARSTO) moved forward in its mission toperform coordinated research and assessment on the behavior of troposphericozone and the development of workable and effective ozone management strategies.During 1997, successful field campaigns were conducted in Mexico City,and in the Western and Midwestern United States. The National Acid ParticipationAssessment Program (NAPAP) produced its 1996 Integrated Assessment Reportto Congress, which is currently nearing completion of NSTC review.
Research on EcologicalSystems
In 1997, the NSTC respondedto an urgent request to develop a national research strategy to respondto the outbreak of the toxic dinoflaggelate, Pfiesteria, in themid-Atlantic region. The strategy identifies both immediate and longer-termefforts to deal with the effects and the underlying causes of Pfiesteriaand other harmful algal blooms. In addition, a plan was developed to assessthe effects of hypoxia (very low oxygen conditions lethal to marine life)in the Gulf of Mexico and the possible linkage to upstream land use practices.Six scientific teams have been assembled and begun their work on topicsincluding characterization of hypoxia, ecological and economic consequences,sources and loads of nutrients transported to the area, effects of reducingnutrient loads, evaluation of methods to reduce nutrient loads, and evaluationof the costs and benefits.
A Biodiversity and EcosystemInformatics Work Group was established to provide an interagency coordinatingmechanism to guide development of the National Biological Information Infrastructure(NBII). Among its areas of emphasis is effort to enhance recognition andsupport for the Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS). ITIS isan interagency activity that is building the first comprehensive on-linereference of standardized biological nomenclature and taxonomy for allU.S. species. The interagency ITIS team was recently awarded a Vice Presidential"Hammer Award" for its innovative partnership and its efforts to providethis valuable information service as a part of the NBII.
EndocrineDisruptor Research Initiative
Endocrine disruptors arechemicals present in the environment in low concentrations as pollutants,such as DDT, dioxins, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), phthalates andpharmaceuticals that may affect the endocrine systems of vertebrates. In1997, the Endocrine Disruptors Working Group completed a framework forcharacterizing research needs, an inventory of ongoing federally supportedresearch, and prepared the first draft of Endocrine Disruptors: ResearchNeeds and Priorities—1998, that will be published when the review iscompleted.
Researchon Toxics and Risk Assessment
Toxic materials are of concernbecause of the harm they can cause to both human health and ecologicalsystems. The potential for harm is typically expressed in terms of risk,and management of toxic materials involves assessing and managing risk.The R&D priorities for toxics and risk revolve around research, development,and demonstration of science and technology for monitoring, prevention,control, and remediation of risks from toxic materials.
The CENR established an IWGon Mercury to resolve the scientific issues related to the EnvironmentalProtection Agency's (EPA's) Mercury Study Report to Congress. In addition,the final report of the Interagency Oxygenated Fuels Assessment SteeringCommittee was completed and published in June 1997. The report describesthe current state of understanding of critical scientific issues relatedto the winter oxygenated gasoline program mandated under the Clean AirAct Amendments, including potential health impacts, fuel economy, and performanceissues.
Researchon Reducing the Impacts of Natural Disasters
Although natural hazardsare inevitable, they need not lead inevitably to disasters. Through prudentactions, the U.S. can reduce losses of life and property as well as socialand economic disruptions from natural hazards. The NSTC has establisheda goal to reduce the cost of natural disasters to the U.S. economy throughsupport of a coordinated, multidisciplinary, multi-agency research program.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.
CENR's Subcommittee on NaturalDisaster Reduction (SNDR) and the Institute for Business and Home Safety(IBHS) established Public Private Partnership 2000 (PPP 2000) to seek opportunitiesfor government and nonprofit, private-sector organizations to work togetherto reduce vulnerability to natural hazards in communities throughout theNation. A series of PPP 2000 Forums on Public Policy Issues in NaturalDisaster Reduction are bringing representative stakeholders together tobreak through traditional patterns of thinking. Each Forum will producerecommendations for strategies to reduce losses from natural hazards. Suchrecommendations will be valuable input for U.S. policy making and willalso contribute to the ongoing goals defined during the United NationsInternational Decade for Disaster Reduction (DDR). For FY 1999, five agenciesDepartment of Commerce (DOC), Department of Interior (DOI), U.S. Departmentof Agriculture (USDA), Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA),and National Science Foundation (NSF), coordinated their budget initiativesthrough CENR's Subcommittee on Natural Disaster Reduction, leading to anew level of program integration in this vital area.
ProgramGuide to Federally Funded Environment and Natural Resources R&D
The second edition of theGuide was compiled and published in 1997. This popular document servesas a reference on competitive funding opportunities for use by colleges,universities, and other research institutions. The Guide describes thecompetitive processes for merit review and evaluation, lists potentialopportunities for funding, and provides points of contact and web siteinformation for specific agency programs.
COMMITTEE ON INTERNATIONALSCIENCE, ENGINEERING, AND TECHNOLOGY
The Committee on InternationalScience, Engineering, and Technology (CISET) addresses the internationalaspects of the national research and development agenda as well as therelationship between the national agenda and principal U.S. foreign policygoals. CISET's activities are directed toward three broad, complementarygoals:
Emerging infectious diseases--new,resurgent, or drug resistant infections of which incidence in humans hasincreased within the past two decades or threatens to increase in the nearfuture--present one of the most significant health challenges facing theglobal community. The NSTC Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases,co-chaired by OSTP and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), led the implementationof the June 1996 Presidential Decision Directive (PDD) on Emerging InfectiousDiseases (NSTC-7). The first annual progress report, highlighting a numberof accomplishments, was delivered to the President in December 1997.
Accomplishments in the areaof emerging infectious disease research include the following: agreementswith 22 states and localities to cooperate in strengthening national notifiabledisease systems, conduct disease surveillance, diagnose diseases, and investigateoutbreaks; expansion of research on emerging infectious diseases and diseasevaccines, both domestically and internationally; cooperation with medicalassociations and medical schools to increase the attention given to emerginginfectious diseases in curricula; development of a work plan for more effectivequarantine and containment; consultations with the International Societyof Travel Medicine to improve communications and establishment of the surveillancenetwork of travel medical clinics; support for U.S. leadership on thisissue in bilateral and multilateral fora; support for U.S. participationin the WHO-proposed revision of the International Health Regulations forimproved screening and quarantine capabilities; and creation of a DOD surveillanceand response system for infectious diseases.
Strategic coordination wasprovided for the Administration's S&T relations with priority nationsand regions through the NSTC's CISET. Through the NSTC interagency process,international S&T relations have been more fully integrated into ouroverall foreign policy and specifically sharpened with Japan, Russia, China,South Africa, the European Union, as well as the Asia Pacific EconomicCooperation forum and the Summit of the Americas. In addition, CISET continuedto facilitate U.S. participation in multilateral cooperative science projectsand programs through the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development(OECD) Megascience Forum and other efforts.
Over the course of the year,a coordinated, interagency strategy was developed to strengthen the valueof S&T relations with Japan. Agencies identified priorities for enhancedpartnerships, issues of concern that impede S&T relations, and mechanismsfor managing the relationship in a more effective manner. A report on thiseffort will be released in 1998.
CISET helped develop theU.S. position and prepare for two major signings this year, illustratingthe importance of international cooperation in science and technology.First, the U.S. and the European Union signed their first-ever umbrellascience and technology agreement, as called for in the Transatlantic Agenda,signed by the President in Madrid in 1995. The U.S. also agreed to joinother countries to build the Large Hadron Collider at CERN in Europe, whichwill involve more than 4,000 scientists and engineers in 45 countries.CISET also helped develop two S&T related initiatives for the historicSummit between President Clinton and the President of China.
COMMITTEE ON NATIONALSECURITY
The Committee on NationalSecurity (CNS) is chartered to facilitate coordination of Federal effortsin R&D in areas of national security. CNS identifies relevant priorities,programs, and plans across Federal agencies with a view toward advisingthe NSTC about the vigor and appropriateness of Federal investments inR&D that underpin a sound national security posture. In 1997, CNS focusedon nonproliferation and initiated a new working group on technology transfer.
The Nonproliferation andArms Control Technical Working Group (NPAC TWG) is the designated mechanismfor the President to coordinate all federally funded R&D supportingthe controlling of arms and stemming the proliferation of weapons of massdestruction. The NPAC TWG systematically inventories programs, coordinatesamong departments and agencies, identifies gaps and overlaps, highlightsareas in need of high-level attention, and makes recommendations for maximizingthe effectiveness of the total program. It has made a substantial contributionto ensuring the effectiveness of nonproliferation and arms control-relatedR&D.
During 1997, the NPAC TWG,maintained its primary missions of coordinating Federal R&D in non-proliferationand arms control and examining policies, programs and plans across Federalagencies. In addition to its periodic briefings for the relevant NationalSecurity Council (NSC) policy internal working groups, the White HouseOSTP and the CNS, the NPAC TWG held discussions with Senate staffers onways that NPAC TWG elements could complement the work of Congressionalworking groups.
The International TechnologyTransfer Working Group was established in December 1996 to identify waysto improve national policy mechanisms governing international technologyinteractions. The Working Group has initiated efforts to examine the exportof technology in the context of its impact on U.S. security and competitiveness,the adequacy of existing control mechanisms, and interagency approachesand concerns.
COMMITTEE ON SCIENCE
The purpose of the Committeeon Science (CS) is to advise and assist the NSTC, with emphasis on thosefederally supported efforts that develop new knowledge in the sciences,mathematics, and engineering. The Committee on Science addresses significantnational policy matters that cut across agency boundaries and providesa formal mechanism for interagency science policy development, coordination,and information exchange.
Review of the University/Federal Government Partnership
The longstanding partnershipbetween the Federal government and universities aimed at advancing S&Tin the national interest is a core element of America's world-leading R&Denterprise. Federal commitment to the partnership remains strong and Federalsupport for university-based research has increased. However, both partiesreport growing stresses in the partnership and concerns about the bestways to sustain the relationship into the future. Therefore, the Assistantto the President for Science and Technology initiated a review of thispartnership to (1) determine what might be the major stresses in the areasof research, education, and administrative regulations; and (2) determinethe best ways to address the issues raised in this examination. The productsof the review will assist both parties in developing strategies that promotecost-effective, university-based research, allocate research costs fairly,strengthen the research-education linkage, and maintain appropriate accountabilityfor expenditure of public funds.
Over the past year, Federalrepresentatives from agencies that support the vast majority of universityresearch and education National Institutes of Health (NIH), NSF, DOD, USDA,NASA, and DOE) have been developing a clearer understanding of the natureof the partnership that exists between the Federal government and universities.This included assessing the current status of the partnership's financialrelationship (cost sharing), how agencies directly or indirectly supporteducation through their support for research, and what regulatory barriersexist that could be lowered or removed to enhance the productivity of thepartnership. Input was solicited from the university community and fromother Federal agencies. RAND's Critical Technologies Institute providedanalysis of this input. A report is expected in 1998.
Cloning/National Bioethics Advisory Commission (NBAC)
NBAC was created by ExecutiveOrder 12975 on October 3, 1995. The Commission advises the NSTC on issuesarising from research on human biology and behavior, including clinicalresearch, and the applications of such research. The Commission is comprisedof non-governmental experts in the relevant scientific disciplines, law,philosophy and theology, as well as community representatives. No morethan one-half of its members may be scientists. The Commission operatesunder the provisions of the Federal Advisory Committee Act.
In June 1997, NBAC releasedthe report, Cloning Human Beings. The President requested this reportafter the announcement in February 1997 of the successful cloning of asheep from fully differentiated cells. In response to recommendations inthe report, legislation prohibiting the use of this technology to clonehuman beings was transmitted by the President to Congress in June 1997.
During the spring of 1996,the former NSTC Committee on Fundamental Science (CFS) established theResearch Integrity Panel to address the concern that Federal research agencieslacked a common definition and approach to addressing cases of researchmisconduct for federally sponsored research. The Committee was concernedthat this lack of uniformity presented the research community with a greatdeal of uncertainty and that it required research organizations, such asuniversities, to be responsive to multiple definitions and approaches.The Panel reported its results to the Committee in the fall of 1996.
The NSTC continued its effortsto develop a common definition of research misconduct and a set of guidingprinciples to shape agency efforts to ensure the integrity of the researchrecord. Research agencies were given an opportunity to respond to the NSTCCommittee approved definition and principles. The proposed definition isbeing modified based on agency comments on the draft. A final definitionwill be sent for full NSTC approval in spring 1998.
With recent advances in plantgenetics and in genomics technology, the time is right to develop a strategyon how the Federal government should contribute to a comprehensive efforton expanding our knowledge of plant genomes, especially those plants thatcontribute significantly to our nation's agricultural sector. The Administrationhas been supportive of plant genomics and has been actively funding a projectdesigned to sequence the genome of the Arabidopsis thaliana, a relativelysimple mustered plant, which is the must promising starting point beforetackling more complex plants like corn. In addition, the Administrationreceived a congressional request to develop a plant genome plan to guidetheir efforts in directing appropriations.
An NSTC IWG, was establishedto develop an integrated plan to map and sequence genomes of agriculturallyimportant plants. The IWG presented a status report in June 1997 that wasused by Congress to help shape FY 1998 appropriations decisions for theNSF and the USDA. The report of the IWG was approved and published by NSTCin January 1998.
Even though the U.S. foodsupply is one of the safest in the world, millions of citizens become illeach year due to food borne pathogens such as E. coli O157:H7 and Salmonella.In response to this threat, the President launched a major food safetyinitiative in 1997 that includes improved, scientifically–based regulatoryprocedures, expanded inspection and monitoring, and accelerated researchand education programs. Key to the success of this initiative will be thedevelopment of sound risk assessment procedures and research leading tonew knowledge that can be applied to cost-effective pathogen detection,prevention, and intervention technologies.
A key goal set out in thePresident's "Call to Action for American Education in the 21st Century"is to "Make sure there is a talented and dedicated teacher in every classroom."Recognizing and rewarding our best teachers helps attract and retain successfulmembers of this demanding profession. Nearly two million of the Nation'sthree million teachers will turn over during the next ten years. The shortageof qualified teachers is particularly acute in mathematics and science.The Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching(PAEMST) is the Nation's highest commendation for K-12 math and scienceteachers. Candidates are chosen on the basis of their teaching performance,background, and experience. PAEMST is administered through NSF, and coordinatedby OSTP. One science and one math teacher at each level are ultimatelyrecommended as Presidential Awardees. They must be U.S. citizens who teachin one of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, the Department of DefenseDependent Schools, or the U.S. territories.
In 1997, 107 elementary and107 secondary teachers received Presidential Awards. The Vice Presidentaddressed the elementary school recipients and the First Lady the secondaryschool recipients. All (over 1,000) teacher awardees since 1983 are nowlinked electronically and have been used as a comparison group in a nationalstudy of math and science teachers.
Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring
The educational principlesadvocated by President Clinton emphasize the importance of high qualitymathematics and science education for all Americans. Studies show thatsuch training does lead to more productive and satisfying careers. Indeed,the demand for technically qualified workers in our economy is growingmuch faster than the supply. Women, minorities, and persons with disabilitieshave traditionally been very underrepresented in science and mathematics,and every effort should be encouraged to improve their participation rates.The Presidential mentoring award demonstrates the Administration's supportfor access to education and diversity in the S&T workforce by recognizingthe efforts of individuals and institutions that have mentored underrepresentedgroups.
The second annual presentationof the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and EngineeringMentoring occurred on September 11, 1997. The award was given to 10 individualsand 9 organizations with outstanding records in mentoring African-Americans,Native Americans, Hispanics, Women, and persons with disabilities.
Presidential Early CareerAwards for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE)
President Clinton approvedthe awards program for early investigators across government agencies onFebruary 1, 1996. The purpose of this award is to recognize demonstratedexcellence and promise of future success in scientific or engineering research,and the potential for eventual leadership of the recipients in their respectivefields. Maintaining leadership across the frontiers of scientific knowledgeand producing the finest scientists and engineers for the 21stcentury, two of the five goals enunciated in the NSTC's Science in theNational Interest, are both significantly served by this award.
On November 3, 1997, thePresident selected 60 individuals to receive the second annual PresidentialEarly Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE). These youngresearchers are recognized as having the potential to become the futureleaders in S&T, university faculties, and Nobel laureates. The recipientswere nominated by the following agencies/departments:
1) USDA; 2) DOC; 3) DOD; 4) DOE; 5) Department of Veterans Affairs (VA);6) NASA; 7) NIH; 8) Department of Health and Human Services (HHS); and9) NSF.
Preparing America's childrenfor the 21st century is among our most important national priorities.Today's children face the promise of a new century of unparalleled opportunity.Yet, too many of them face obstacles that obscure that bright future, includingpoverty, violence, child abuse, limited educational opportunity, and unhealthybehaviors. To appropriately address these obstacles to a productive futurefor children at risk, we must develop new knowledge and use it in a waythat provides policies and programs that are likely to succeed.
The multi-agency "Children'sInitiative" study was released in April 1997. The study, sponsored by theNSTC, with collaboration from the Domestic Policy Council (DPC), assessedthe current scope of research on child and adolescent development, identifiedsignificant gaps in the research agenda, and developed recommendationsfor needed efforts not only in the research area but also in linking researchand policy development.
COMMITTEE ON TECHNOLOGY
The purpose of the Committeeon Technology (CT) is to advise and assist the NSTC to increase the overalleffectiveness and productivity of Federal R&D efforts. The Committeeaddresses significant national policy matters, which cut across agencyboundaries and provides a formal mechanism for interagency policy coordinationand development of Federal technology activities. The Committee acts toimprove the coordination of all Federal efforts in technology. This includesdeveloping balanced and comprehensive R&D programs, establishing structuresto improve the way the Federal government plans and coordinates R&D,and advising the Directors, OSTP and OMB, on R&D budget crosscuts andpriorities.
Partnership for a NewGeneration of Vehicles (PNGV)
The Federal government andthe U.S. automobile industry have joined in a historic partnership to establishglobal technical leadership in the development and production of commercially-viablevehicle technology that, over the long term, can preserve personal mobilitywhile further reducing the impact of cars and light trucks on the environmentand reducing dependence on imported petroleum. This unprecedented alliancewas established on September 29, 1993, and included Federal agencies, nationallaboratories, universities, suppliers and the United States Council ofAutomobile Research (USCAR)--a conglomerate of the Big Three U.S. automakers (Ford, Chrysler, and General Motors). The partnership's goals are:1) manufacturing productivity improvement; 2) Implement commercial viableinnovations from ongoing research on conventional vehicles; and, 3) developmentof a production prototype by the year 2004 that can achieve three timesthe fuel efficiency of today's vehicles with comparable cost and performance.The research plan is annually peer-reviewed by the National Research Council(NRC).
The PNGV has accomplishedthe technology selection and is preparing an announcement of the selectedtechnologies for inclusion into the first PNGV concept vehicles. The selectedtechnologies will be used to produce the first generation prototype PNGVvehicles and will be used to prepare the production prototypes plannedfor 2004. The PNGV is responsible for advancing and spinning offseveral new technologies such as hybrids, composite bodies, and fuel cells,that are now on production track within the participating auto makers,engineering plans.
Partnership for AdvancedTechnologies for Housing (PATH)
Construction is one of thelargest industries in the U.S. and a critical asset for enhancing the Nation'sinternational competitiveness. PATH was established to develop and deliverto practice high performance construction materials and systems, advancedinformation systems addressing industry needs, automation for constructionprocesses and constructed facilities, knowledge needed for productivityand safety, and measures of effectiveness for construction technology.This initiative responds to a high level of industry interest, and combinesGovernment and industry goals.
Federal government agencies,led by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and DOE, withsupport from DOC, Department of Labor (DOL), the FEMA and EPA, in conjunctionwith OSTP have begun the formulation of a partnership with builders, developers,product suppliers, insurers and financiers to develop, demonstrate anddeploy housing technologies, designs and practices that can significantlyimprove the quality of housing without raising the cost of construction.The goals of PATH are to create markets, consumer demand, technologies,practices and capabilities so that all new homes by 2010 will be builtcheaper, more environmentally sustainable, more disaster resistant, moredurable and safer. The first meeting of partners was held and a steeringcommittee created which will set a timetable and agenda for research priorities,road maps and pilot demonstrations.
United States InnovationPartnership (USIP)
USIP, announced in February1997, establishes a relationship in which the Nation's governors and theAdministration cooperate to achieve new economic growth, high quality jobs,and globally competitive businesses by leveraging U.S. science and technologyleadership and resources through partnerships among states, the Federalgovernment, industry, and universities.
USIP Task Forces began operatingin mid-1997. Their work includes activities to (1) build partnerships toleverage the Federal investment in the Small Business Innovation Research(SBIR) program in Federal agencies, (2) promote electronic commerce, (3)shape the next generation of the Manufacturing Extension Partnership, and(4) provide technology information to entrepreneurs. The SBIR Task Forceis the furthest along in its effort and is jointly lead by Kansas and theSmall Business Administration. USIP has had some early successes. It helpedto compile state comments on the Advanced Technology Program at the DOCand has helped Commerce get state comments about a new program, the ExperimentalProgram to Stimulate Competitive Technology (EPSCoT), before the programwas implemented.
The Subcommittee on TransportationR&D, formerly the NSTC Committee on Transportation R&D, establishesconsistent national transportation R&D priorities and coordinated researchprograms throughout the Federal government. Government agencies work inpartnership with industry and academia to maintain and improve the safetyand productivity of the U.S. transportation systems in order to realizethe world's safest, most responsive and competitive transportation systemby considering human behavior in all aspects, now and in the future.
The Subcommittee's primaryaccomplishment in 1997 was completion and publication of the first FederalTransportation Science and Technology Strategy. The Strategy establishespartnership initiatives, identifies long-term enabling research for Federalsponsorship, and initiates development of measures to evaluate the impactof Federal R&D investments. The Subcommittee sponsored a special NationalResearch Council/Transportation Research Board (NRC/TRB) review, whichconcurred with the general directions established in the Strategy. TheNRC/TRB report, which offered suggestions to improve the research planningprocess, was distributed to Congress and to the transportation community.The Subcommittee has begun work on a technology plan and strategic researchplan to guide implementation of the Federal research and partnership initiatives-- which cover aviation, surface transportation, and maritime transportation-- outlined in the Strategy.
Computing, Information,and Communications/Research and Development (CIC/R&D)
The Federal Computing, Information,and Communications/Research and Development (CIC/R&D) programs investin long-term R&D to advance computing, information, and communications.These programs are an outgrowth of the highly successful, Congressionally-charteredHigh Performance Computing and Communications (HPCC) initiative that wasresponsible for catapulting the U.S. into the era of teraflop computers,gigabyte networks, and computation-intensive science and engineering applications.In 1997, the NSTC oversaw work in five Program Component Areas: High EndComputing and Computation (HEC); Large Scale Networking (LSN); High ConfidenceSystems (HCS); Human Centered Systems (HuCS); and Education, Training,and Human Resources (ETHR).
Accomplishments of the FederalCIC/R&D Program in 1997 are described in two publications: Computing,Information and Communications Technologies for the 21st Century, March1997; and Technologies for the 21st Century: Supplement to the President's1998 Budget, November 1997. Additionally, the NSTC sponsored severalCIC-related events during 1997:
On October 10, 1996, PresidentClinton and Vice President Gore announced the NGI initiative, a 3-yearproject to: invest in R&D for new networking technologies, such asthe ability to handle real-time, multimedia traffic; connect more than100 research institutions at speeds that are 100 to 1,000 times fasterthan today's Internet; and demonstrate new applications in areas such asdistance education, telemedicine, national security, and collaboratories(laboratories without walls). Built on the base of Federal agency programscurrently underway as part of the NSTC's CIC R&D Large-Scale Networking(LSN) working group, the initiative calls for partnerships and collaborationwith the private sector and the academic community.
In May 1997, the LSN co-sponsoreda workshop on Research Directions for Next Generation Internet. Resultsof the workshop were subsequently incorporated into an NGI concept paperand a draft implementation plan, which were released for public commentin late July 1997. On the basis of this draft, Congress appropriated $85million for NGI in FY 1998, slightly less than the President's requestfor $100 million.
AdvisoryCommittee on High-Performance Computing and Communications, InformationTechnology, and the Next Generation Internet
In February 1997, PresidentClinton established an Advisory Committee to provide the NSTC, throughthe Director of OSTP, with guidance and advice on all areas of high performancecomputing, communications and information technologies. The members bringa broad range of expertise and interests from business and universities.
As one of its first officialacts, the Advisory Committee reviewed the draft implementation plans forthe Administration's NGI initiative. They reported enthusiastic supportfor the NGI and made some crucial recommendations for strengthening theprogram. Members of the Advisory Committee testified before Congress onbehalf of NGI. The Committee also launched a review of Federal high-endcomputing priorities and a more general review of Federal R&D budgetsfor CIC. Their recommendations will be reported to the President's ScienceAdvisor in June 1998.
Through the National Science and Technology Council (NSTC) Committees,Federal agencies and departments identified a set of priority researchareas that are important national efforts requiring investments acrossagencies. These interagency priority areas reflect our objectives of maintainingexcellence, maximizing effectiveness, and minimizing costs. R&D investmentprinciples provided guidance for our choices. Priority was given to Federalresearch and education programs that:
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, education,and research
institutions, and other non-governmental organizations, servesas the highest
level private sector advisory group for the President andthe NSTC. In 1997,
PCAST provided the following reports:
Development of Interagency Plans to Address Health Preparedness forand Readjustment of Veterans and Their Families After Future Deployments,dated April 21, 1997—Examination of health concerns related to Gulf Warservice. Provides guidance to the Federal government in reviewing policiesand programs and developing a coordinated interagency plan for minimizingor preventing similar post-conflict health concerns in the future.
The President established the National Science and Technology Council(NSTC) in 1993 to coordinate the diverse parts of the Federal Researchand Development (R&D) enterprise and to foster synergy among the variedtalents of the Federal S&T workforce. The NSTC completed its fourthyear of operation and has become the primary mechanism for coordinatingand strengthening Federal R&D. This report highlights 1997 NSTC activitiesrelated to broadly stated S&T goals, including: 1) Maintain World Leadershipin Science, Mathematics, and Engineering, 2) Promote Long-term EconomicGrowth, 3) Sustain a Healthy, Educated Citizenry, 4) Improve EnvironmentalQuality, 5) Harness Information Technology, and 6) Enhance National Securityand Global Stability. An overview of activities performed by NSTC WorkingGroups and Committees is presented. The activities of the private sectorPresident's Committee on Science and Technology (PCAST) for 1997 are alsoincluded as Appendix A of this report.
1997 NSTC Annual Report
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