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FYI Number 17: February 1, 2006

Overview of President Bush's S&T Initiatives

The White House has provided further information on the American Competitiveness Initiative and Advanced Energy Initiative that President Bush announced in his State of the Union Address last night. Selections from these documents follow:

AMERICAN COMPETITIVENESS INITIATIVE:
http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2006/01/20060131-5.html

"The American Competitiveness Initiative commits $5.9 billion in FY 2007, and more than $136 billion over 10 years, to increase investments in research and development (R&D), strengthen education, and encourage entrepreneurship and innovation."

"The centerpiece of the American Competitiveness Initiative is the President's strong commitment to double over 10 years investment in key Federal agencies that support basic research programs in the physical sciences and engineering – the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Department of Energy's Office of Science (DoE SC), and the Department of Commerce's National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)."

"The President's FY07 Budget includes $137 billion for Federal research and development, an increase of more than 50 percent over 2001."

"The sum of the budgets of the National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy's Office of Science, and the Department of Commerce's National Institute of Standards and Technology will double over 10 years, a total commitment of $50 billion of new funding."

"To Encourage Bolder Private-Sector Investment In Technology, The President Continues To Support Making The Research And Development (R&D) Tax Credit Permanent."

"To prepare our citizens to compete more effectively in the global marketplace, the American Competitiveness Initiative proposes $380 million in new Federal support to improve the quality of math, science, and technological education in our K-12 schools and engage every child in rigorous courses that teach important analytical, technical, and problem-solving skills. Building on the successes of the No Child Left Behind Act, the American Competitiveness Initiative will raise student achievement in math and science through testing and accountability, providing grants for targeted interventions, and developing curricula based on proven methods of instruction."

"As part of the American Competitiveness Initiative, the President's FY07 Budget introduces Career Advancement Accounts (CAA). CAAs will be self-managed accounts of up to $3,000 that workers and people looking for work can use to obtain training and other employment services."

"The President supports attracting and retaining the best and the brightest high-skilled workers from around the world by reforming the Nation's immigration system, while maintaining national security priorities. The President's comprehensive plan for immigration reform meets the needs of a growing economy, allows workers to provide for their families while respecting the law, and enhances homeland security by relieving pressure on the borders."

"The American Competitiveness Initiative will help the United States remain a world leader in science and technology. Just as important, we must continue to pursue pro-growth economic policies and foster a culture of entrepreneurship. The President's economic agenda, including reducing taxes and overly burdensome regulations, will help create a business environment where innovators and entrepreneurs are rewarded. The American Competitiveness Initiative also supports an efficient system that leads the world in the protection of intellectual property resulting from public and private sector investments in research."

ADVANCED ENERGY INITIATIVE:
http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2006/01/20060131-6.html

"Tonight, the President announced the Advanced Energy Initiative, which provides for a 22% increase in clean-energy research at the Department of Energy (DOE). The Initiative will accelerate our breakthroughs in two vital areas; how we power our homes and businesses; and how we power our automobiles."

"Changing The Way We Power Our Homes And Businesses:"

"The President's Coal Research Initiative. To tap the potential of America's enormous coal reserves, the President's 2007 Budget includes $281 million for development of clean coal technologies, nearly completing the President's commitment 4 years ahead of schedule."

"The President's 2007 Budget Includes $54 Million For The FutureGen Initiative. The FutureGen initiative is a partnership between government and the private sector to develop innovative technologies for an emissions-free coal plant that captures the carbon dioxide it produces and stores it in deep geologic formations."

"The President's Solar America Initiative. The 2007 Budget will propose a new $148 million Solar America Initiative – an increase of $65 million over FY06 – to accelerate the development of semiconductor materials that convert sunlight directly to electricity."

"The 2007 Budget includes $44 million for wind energy research – a $5 million increase over FY06 levels. This will help improve the efficiency and lower the costs of new wind technologies for use in low-speed wind environments."

"Changing The Way We Power Our Automobiles:"

"The Biorefinery Initiative. To achieve greater use of ‘homegrown' renewable fuels in the United States, advanced technologies need to be perfected to make fuel ethanol from cellulosic (plant fiber) biomass, which is now discarded as waste. The President's 2007 Budget will include $150 million – a $59 million increase over FY06 – to help develop bio-based transportation fuels from agricultural waste products, such as wood chips, stalks, or switch grass."

"Developing More Efficient Vehicles. Current hybrids on the road run on a battery developed at the DOE. The President's plan would accelerate research in the next generation of battery technology for hybrid vehicles and ‘plug-in hybrids.' Current hybrids can only use the gasoline engine to charge the on-board battery. A ‘plug-in' hybrid can run either on electricity or on gasoline and can be plugged into the wall at night to recharge its batteries. These vehicles will enable drivers to meet most of their urban commuting needs with virtually no gasoline use. Advanced battery technologies offer the potential to significantly reduce oil consumption in the near-term. The 2007 Budget includes $30 million – a $6.7 million increase over FY06 – to speed up the development of this battery technology and extend the range of these vehicles."

"The Hydrogen Fuel Initiative. The President's 2007 Budget will provide $289 million – an increase of $53 million over FY06 – to accelerate the development of hydrogen fuel cells and affordable hydrogen-powered cars."

Richard M. Jones
Media and Government Relations Division
American Institute of Physics
fyi@aip.org
301-209-3095

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