by Kelvin K. Droegemeier
Director, White House Office of Science and Technology Policy
As we mark fifty years since the Apollo 11 mission landed Americans on the Moon, capturing the imagination of the world, our Nation is again on the verge of a new bold era in science and technology. Breakthroughs in medicine, communications, transportation, physics, engineering, biology, and many other fields, will help tackle the greatest challenges of our time and allow Americans to live safer, healthier, and more economically prosperous lives.
To ensure the United States continues to lead the world in science and technology (S&T), President Trump is committed to a robust agenda that unleashes American discovery and innovation, builds our workforce of the future, and advances American values at home and abroad.
Unleashing American discovery and innovation means providing the environment that allows our scientists, engineers, inventors, and entrepreneurs to do what they do best – explore, discover and be creative. The American free market system is unmatched in pushing the boundaries of science and technology, and our continued global leadership is dependent upon removing obstacles to achieve our full potential – –every person, every organization, every corner of our Nation. We must eliminate unnecessary administrative burdens that preoccupy our researchers with pushing paper rather than making new discoveries. We must streamline ways to bring those discoveries from the lab into the marketplace. We must strengthen partnerships across the uniquely American R&D system comprised of colleges and universities, Federal and National labs, private companies, non-profits, and Federal agencies. And, we must improve the overall safety, accommodation and productivity of research settings to attract, empower, and retain America’s best and brightest.
Cutting-edge technologies will continue to change and shape American jobs across all sectors. This is why President Trump’s pro-worker agenda is at the heart of our efforts to build the American workforce of the future. The Administration places a strong emphasis on lifelong learning and nontraditional education pathways to ensure men and women of all ages, backgrounds, and zip codes have access to science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education and skills. We remain focused on helping individuals from all walks of life embrace technology and adapt successfully to the changing world. In order for the United States to lead in S&T, we must draw upon the talents of all Americans.
Finally, the American R&D enterprise is amazing not only because of what it creates, but also because of what creates it – our American values. Our Nation leads global scientific progress by example, promoting core principles of freedom of inquiry, scientific integrity, collaboration, and openness. And while we stand firmly behind these hallmarks of research, we must always understand the real security concerns that arise when our resources fall into the hands of those attempting to do us harm. The Trump Administration recognizes the importance of striking the balance of an open research environment and safeguarding American assets and intellectual property.
This Administration has already made tremendous progress in ensuring American S&T leadership. For example:
- President Trump has renewed and accelerated U.S. space exploration by reviving the National Space Council and directing NASA to return astronauts to the Moon in the next five years.
- President Trump launched the American Artificial Intelligence Initiative to ensure artificial intelligence is developed for the benefit of the American people.
- Scientists at our national labs discovered a new way to domestically produce at scale medical isotopes to treat late-stage prostate cancer.
- The Trump Administration put forward a decadal vision for S&T for America’s Oceans, and has taken action to promote the ocean environment and economy.
- The White House released a new National strategy on STEM education, and after President Trump directed at least $200 million per year in grant funding to STEM (including computer science) education, private industry matched this commitment with another $300 million.
America celebrates research everywhere it occurs. But as other nations advance, we must advance as well. We are working to ensure a future in which American innovation, American values, and the American workforce continue to inspire and lead the world. Our discoveries advance the collective knowledge of mankind, our innovations improve security and quality of life for all, and our values spread hope and freedom. This is the heartbeat of America, and this is unwavering focus of the Trump Administration.