Invest in the Building Blocks of American Innovation

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We must ensure that our economy is given all the necessary tools for successful innovation, from investments in research and development to the human, physical, and technological capital needed to perform that research and transfer those innovations.  Below are examples of Obama Administration initiatives that invest in the building blocks of American innovation.

Restore American Leadership in Fundamental Research

  • 2011 Budget
    The 2011 Budget sustained the President’s pledge to make investments in innovation to create the industries and jobs of tomorrow.
    Learn more.
    Watch web chat with White House officials.
  • Research and Development Investment
    In a speech at the National Academies of Science Annual Meeting in April 2009, the President pledged to double the R&D budget of key Federal science agencies.
    Read the remarks.

Educate the Next Generation with 21st Century Knowledge and Skills While Creating a World-Class Workforce. 

  • Educate to Innovate
    President Obama has launched an “Educate to Innovate” campaign to improve the participation and performance of America’s students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).
    Learn more.

  • Race to the Top
    The President announced plans for the expansion of the “Race to the Top” education challenge, requesting $1.35B for the program in his FY2011 budget.  Race to the Top focuses on implementing high-quality assessments in public schools, attracting and keeping great teachers in America’s classrooms, using innovation and effective approaches to turn-around struggling schools, promoting collaborations among business leaders, educators, and other stakeholders to raise student achievement and close achievement gaps, and by expanding support for high-performing public charter schools, reinvigorating math and science education, and promoting other conditions favorable to innovation and reform. 
    Learn more.
  • Job Seekers Challenge
    Over 16,000 users reviewed and recommended over 600 job search and career advancement tools. Recommendations have been tallied, and the top-rated sites in each of 6 categories — general job boards, niche tools, career tools, career exploration tools, web 2.0 and "other" — are now available at
    Learn more 
  • Support for Community Colleges and Making Higher Education More Affordable
    On March 30th, the President signed into law a number of measures that will make higher education more affordable and help more Americans earn a college degree. The bill includes $2B over four years for community colleges to develop, improve, and provide education and career training programs.
    Learn more

Build a Leading Physical Infrastructure

  • Improved Highway Infrastructure
    In March 2010, the Vice President announced that all states had met the deadline to commit the $26.6 billion ARRA funds allocated to highway development to specific projects.  In just one year, funding from the Recovery Act has improved more than 33,000 miles of pavement across the United States.  More than 12,000 highway projects in all 50 states and the District of Columbia funded through the $26.6 billion Recovery Act investment in highway construction.
    Learn more.
  • Modernizing the Electric Grid
    In October 2009 President Obama announced $3.4 billion in smart grid grants.  These grants will be matched by $4.7 billion in private funding.  Altogether, the grants will fund 100 projects in 49 states in the largest investment in the smart grid in history.  The grants will result in 18 million new smart meters.; 200,000 smart transformers that help utilities replace unites poised to fail; and 700 automated substations that will help utilities restore services faster.
    Learn more.
  • High Speed Rail
    In January 2010, the President and the Vice President announced that the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) is awarding $8 billion to states across the country to develop America’s first nationwide program of high-speed intercity passenger rail service.  Funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), these dollars represent an historic investment in the country’s transportation infrastructure, which will help create jobs and transform travel in America. 
    Learn more.

Develop an Advanced Information Technology Ecosystem

  • High Speed Internet
    In December 2009, Vice President Biden kicked off $7.2 billion in Recovery Act broadband grant and loan programs, of which $2 billion was made available on a rolling basis starting in February to bring high-speed Internet to communities that currently have little or no access to the technology.
    Learn more
  • Cloud Computing
    In September 2009, the Obama Administration launched a cloud computing initiative, beginning with, an online platform for delivery of cloud-based IT services for productivity, collaboration and efficiency. Cloud computing is also being used for, and the implementation of Electronic Health Record systems .
    Learn more.

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