THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
August 10, 1998
President Clinton Welcomes Plan to Strengthen
A report released today by the President's Information Technology
Advisory Committee (PITAC), whose membership includes many of the
nation's top computing and communications experts, sets out a bold
agenda for ensuring America's leadership in the Information Age by
expanding government investments in long-term research and development
in technologies such as computers, networks, and software. Such
investments drive economic growth, generate new knowledge, create new
jobs, build new industries, ensure our national security, protect the
environment, and improve the health and quality of life for our
U.S. Leadership in Information Technology
In accepting this report, President Clinton thanked the Committee
in a letter for their work in developing a research agenda for the
Nation, and renewed his commitment to make significant increases in
computing and communications research in the years ahead. "Our
nation's economic future and the welfare of our citizens depend on continued
advances and innovation in the information technologies which have
produced so many remarkable developments in science, engineering,
medicine, business, and education," the President said.
Vice President Gore, author of the High Performance Computing Act
of 1991 and long-time supporter of the "information superhighway,"
also voiced his support for research in information technology.
"Information technology can be a powerful tool for achieving many of our most
important national objectives," the Vice President said, "such as
creating jobs and growing our economy, providing our children with a
world-class education, expanding access to high-quality health care in
rural America, and strengthening our national security."
The PITAC report notes that the growth in today's information
technology (IT) sector is leading the growth of all other sectors of
the economy. The Federal Reserve reports that during the past five years
production in computers, semiconductors, and communications equipment
quadrupled at a time when total industrial production grew by 28
percent. These three industries account for one-third of the total
growth in production since 1992. As we approach the 21st century, the
opportunities for innovation in IT are larger than they ever have been
-- and more important.
During his June 1998 commencement address at the Massachusetts
Institute of Technology, the President asked Dr. Neal Lane, his new
science advisor, to prepare a detailed plan on computing and
communications research. He has directed Dr. Lane to work with our
nation's scientific community and to carefully consider the new
research directions identified in the Committee's report.
The Committee stressed the importance of Clinton Administration
initiatives in computing and communications such as the Next
Generation Internet, the Department of Energy's DOE 2000 distributed computing
program, and the National Science Foundation's Knowledge and
Distributed Intelligence emphasis. This year, President Clinton has proposed
record increases for civilian research and development to keep America
at the cutting-edge of science and technology.
Recognizing the critical role that Federal research has played in
developing modern computing, the Internet, and other Information Age
technologies, the Committee urged the President to ensure that this
momentum is maintained. The Committee argued for sharply increased
support for basic research, giving highest priority to research on
computer software. They also stressed the importance of allowing the
research community to "live in the future" and tackle long-term
high-risk research challenges.
Specifically, the Committee recommend emphasis be placed on:
In responding to the President's direction, Dr. Lane said "I
concur with the Committee's conclusion that research in computing and
communications merits expanded support and is as important to
America's position of leadership in the 21st Century as any area of research.
We must rededicate ourselves to cutting-edge R&D in information
technology, or other nations could pass us by, and that is a risk the United
States cannot afford. Breathtaking advances in information technologies
mean, however, that research priorities need to be redefined to take
advantage of new opportunities. The PITAC report will provide Federal agencies
with a compelling set of research goals which will provide valuable
guidance as they prepare plans for our year 2000 budget."
- Techniques for developing software that is more dependable and
- Communication systems which will be able to support billions of
users and devices that are attached to the network;
- High-speed computers and software that can deliver useful
performance that is a thousand times faster than today's most
powerful supercomputers; and
- Research that ensures that America's workforce is properly prepared
for the challenges and opportunities of the Information Age.
A copy of the Committee's report is available on the World Wide
Web at www.ccic.gov.