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Obama Announces New Commitment to R&d Funding


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U.S. President Barack Obama

President Obama set a goal of seeing the U.S. invest 3 percent or more of its annual GDP in basic and applied scientific research funding.

The White House

In a recent speech before the members of the National Academy of Sciences, U.S. President Barack Obama said the United States should invest 3 percent or more of its annual gross domestic product (GDP) in basic and applied scientific research funding. A 3 percent investment would represent the largest investment in U.S. history, an even larger share of the GDP than the U.S. invested during the space race of the 1950s and 1960s.

Obama said the pursuit of discovery a half century ago fueled the U.S.'s prosperity and success, and that this new commitment will fuel the nation's success for another 50 years. Obama presented a wish list for the future, including educational software as effective as personal tutors, advanced prosthetics that could enable users to play the piano, and an expansion of the frontiers of human knowledge.

Obama plans to finish the 10-year doubling of the budgets for the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Department of Energy's (DOE's) Office of Science, and the National Institutes of Standards and Technology, which would add $42.6 billion to the budgets for these agencies between 2009 and 2016. Obama also wants to launch the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E), a new DOE organization, and a joint initiative by the DOE and NSF that would inspire tens of thousands of U.S. students to pursue careers in science, engineering, and entrepreneurship in clean-energy programs.

From Computing Research Association
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