Thank you for writing. I have heard from many Americans interested
in science and technology, and I appreciate your perspective.
Government funding for scientific research has consistently yielded innovations that have improved
the landscape of American life—from the Internet and digital photography to Global Positioning System (GPS) technology
and laser surgery. Yet, over the last four decades, Federal funding for the physical, mathematical, and engineering
sciences has remained flat at a time when other countries are substantially increasing their own research budgets. The
United States is at risk of losing its scientific dominance. That is why I have proposed to double budgets at three
key science agencies—the National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy’s Office of Science, and the National
Institute of Standards and Technology laboratories.
To reaffirm our role as the engine that drives science and technology around the world, we must empower
our Nation’s youth with a competitive education and the tools to make tomorrow’s breakthrough discoveries. Today,
only 1 in 10 students graduate from college with degrees in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) subjects—areas
critical to America’s ability to compete for the jobs of the future. That is why I have proposed programs to help
us meet our ambitious goals of training 100,000 new K-12 teachers in STEM subjects and preparing 1 million more American graduates
in STEM fields over the next 10 years. I have also encouraged groups typically underrepresented in these fields—including
young women—to pursue careers in STEM disciplines.
America with 21st-century digital infrastructure—such as high-speed broadband Internet access, fourth-generation
(4G) wireless networks, new health care information technology, and a modernized electrical grid—is critical to our
long-term prosperity and competitiveness. The Recovery Act has helped fund the expansion of broadband services nationwide,
and the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act will further expand wireless broadband services and fund the development
of a dedicated public safety broadband network. In June 2012, I signed an Executive Order to make broadband construction
along Federal roadways and properties up to 90 percent cheaper and more efficient. By connecting every corner of our
country to the digital age, we can help our businesses become more competitive, our students more informed, and our communities
I am also committed to ensuring America has a thriving
and growing Internet economy. The Internet has become a global platform for communication, commerce, and individual
expression, and now promises to support breakthroughs in important national priorities such as health care, education, energy,
and the environment. Additionally, the Internet and information technology can be applied to make government more effective,
transparent, and accessible to all Americans. I have pledged to preserve the free and open nature of the Internet, and
created the Internet Policy Task Force to make sure the Internet remains a reliable and trustworthy resource for consumers.
I have also made cybersecurity a top priority, because Americans deserve the security to shop, bank, communicate, and learn
online without fearing their accounts will be hacked or their identity stolen.
To fast track our startups and enable them to bring products to market
more quickly, I signed the America Invents Act in September 2011—the most meaningful reform to our patent process in
50 years. This legislation will help entrepreneurs and inventors secure patents three times faster than they could before,
drastically cutting the time it takes to roll out novel technologies and products, and making it easier to turn new ideas
into new businesses and new jobs. My Administration also worked with several private-sector partners to launch a series
of new “Lab to Market” initiatives to encourage the commercialization of novel technologies flowing from our Federal
research and development projects. Additionally, in 2011 I signed a Presidential Memorandum directing all Federal agencies
with research facilities to accelerate the transfer of innovations from the laboratory to the commercial marketplace. We
live at a time when our Nation’s economy must become more dynamic and flexible than ever before, and these reforms will
help us meet this challenge.
pooling our talents and investing in the creativity and imagination of the American people, we can move forward with the spirit
of hope and ambition that has defined our past and will drive our Nation in the years to come. To learn more about our
efforts to advance innovation, please visit www.WhiteHouse.gov/ostp orwww.WhiteHouse.gov/Issues/Technology.
Thank you, again, for