[Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: William J. Clinton (1998, Book II)]
[August 10, 1998]
[Page 1424]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office www.gpo.gov]

[[Page 1424]]

Letter to President's Information Technology Advisory Committee
Co-Chairmen Bill Joy and Ken Kennedy
August 10, 1998

Dear Bill and Ken:
    Thank you for your Interim Report advising me of the President's 
Information Technology Advisory Committee's (PITAC) findings and 
recommendations on future directions for federal support of information 
technology research and development. The Vice President joins me in 
thanking you and the other PITAC members for your guidance on how best 
to preserve America's commanding lead in computing and communications 
    Our nation's economic future and the welfare of our citizens depend 
on continued advances and innovations in the information technologies 
that have produced so many remarkable developments in science, 
engineering, medicine, business, and education. Sustained prosperity for 
America requires a steady stream of technological innovation. The 
knowledge-based society of the next century makes our participation in 
the front ranks of research essential if our nation is to capture the 
gains of scientific and technological advances. Half of our economic 
productivity in the last half century is attributable to science and 
technological innovation. One third of our economic growth since 1992 
has been spurred by businesses in the computing and communications 
industries. Information technology sustains our global competitiveness, 
provides opportunities for lifelong learning, and expands our ability to 
solve critical problems affecting our environment, health care and 
national security.
    Through my Administration's initiatives in computing and 
communications, such as the Next Generation Internet, the Defense 
Advanced Research Projects Agency's support for breakthrough 
technologies, the Department of Energy's high performance computing 
programs, and the National Science Foundation's Knowledge and 
Distributed Intelligence emphasis, we have laid the foundations for the 
technological advances that promise to profoundly transform the next 
millennium. Yet, to maintain this momentum, we must adequately fund 
critical federal investments in fundamental research. In my recent 
speech at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, I proposed 
significant increases in computing and communications research. Your 
proposed research agenda will help guide Dr. Neal Lane, my Assistant for 
Science and Technology, in developing a detailed plan for my review.
    For six years in a row, I have proposed budget increases to sustain 
American leadership across the frontiers of scientific knowledge. Most 
recently, I was pleased to sign into law the National Science Foundation 
Authorization Act of 1998, which will create new knowledge, spur 
innovations, foster future breakthroughs, and provide cutting-edge 
research facilities that will produce the finest American scientists and 
engineers for the 21st century. I am hopeful that the Congress and my 
Administration can work together to advance the leading edges of 
computational science to help us discover new technologies that can make 
this a better world. We have a duty--to ourselves, to our children, and 
to future generations--to make these and other farsighted investments in 
science and technology to take America into the next century well-
equipped for the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.

                                                      William J. Clinton

Note: An original was not available for verification of the content of 
this letter.