Yesterday, OSTP Director John Holdren and Deputy Director for Policy Tom Kalil hosted a meeting with science and technology (S&T) community leaders. The gathering, held at the White House Conference Center, provided an opportunity to share perspectives on how the current fiscal and policy environment may affect the Nation’s science and engineering enterprise.
Dr. Holdren thanked the representatives from the science and technology organizations for their longstanding efforts to sustain the public-private partnership in science and engineering that has kept the US’s innovation engine the strongest in the world. Dr. Holdren reiterated the Obama Administration’s commitment to protecting Federal investments in research and education in the recent budget agreement and in future budgets. In doing so, he noted the President’s remarks after signing the budget bill last week:
“We can’t make it tougher for young people to go to college, or ask seniors to pay more for health care, or ask scientists to give up on promising research …”
In his 2011 State of the Union address and the 2012 Budget he put forth, the President announced his committment to winning the future through investments in innovation, education, and infrastructure within a fiscally responsible framework. That commitment has been evident in recent weeks as the Administration launched the Advanced Manufacturing Partnership, a National Robotics Initiative, and a Materials Genome Initiative, and as the Administration made progress toward building a proposed nationwide interoperable wireless public safety broadband network, an important component of the President’s Wireless Innovation and Infrastructure Initiative.
Staff from OSTP and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) explained the impact the budget agreement is likely to have on Federal support of research and development (R&D) and science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education. We were delighted to hear how scientists and engineers around the country are reaching out to their communities to engage the public in their work; expanding their dialogue with local businesses and entrepreneurs to accelerate the movement of ideas from the lab to the marketplace; and nurturing the scientific and technical talent the United States needs to remain competitive in the 21st century global economy.
The organizations that joined OSTP, OMB, and other Federal science agencies in this discussion included:
Kei Koizumi is the Assistant Director for Federal R&D at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy