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Public Papers - 1991

Remarks on Signing the High-Performance Computing Act of 1991

1991-12-09

Let me just thank you all for coming today. And I'm pleased to sign into law the High-Performance Computing Act of 1991. This will implement the far-reaching initiatives on information technologies proposed to Congress in my fiscal year 1992 budget earlier this year.

I'd like to thank Director Darman; my science advisor Dr. Bromley; Secretary Watkins and Secretary Mosbacher; Chairman Boskin and Dick Truly, Administrator Truly; Roger Porter; Director Massey, who are with us today. And I'd like also to thank Secretaries Cheney and Alexander who couldn't be with us today, and Bill Reilly, also missing, but all of them playing an instrumental part in all of this. And then all of the other members of the administration that helped develop this initiative and secure enactment of this historic bill.

The development of high-performance computing and communications technology offers the potential to transform radically the way in which all Americans will work, learn, and communicate in the future. It holds the promise of changing society as much as the other great inventions of the 20th century, including the telephone, air travel, and radio and TV.

This program will help researchers meet the grand challenges in science: To unlock the secrets of DNA, to forecast severe weather events, and to discover new superconducting materials.

It is no surprise that America holds the lead in high-performance information technology. Our greatest technological strides have been made possible by the unique qualities of American society: Freedom, innovation, entrepreneurial spirit, a combination found nowhere else in the world. And this program will sustain and extend that leadership position.

The high-performance computing initiative is part of an overall strategy, advanced by this administration to enhance our competitiveness. My billion R D budget proposal for this year included increased investment in both basic research and in additional key areas of applied research, such as material science, advance manufacturing, biotechnology, and energy-related R D.

In addition to these critical investments in R D, we've been working to prepare America to compete in the next century by opening up foreign markets to U.S. export through a new GATT round and a North American free-trade agreement, proposing tax policies, such as making permanent R D tax credit, and reducing taxes on capital gains to promote long-term investment, and preparing our work force to compete through sharp increases in funding for math and science education and through our America 2000 broad reform initiative.

The initiative involves eight Federal agencies, all of which would contribute to development of this new technology, and would share in its benefits. Private industry will work closely with Federal agencies and labs in the planning, funding, and management of this initiative to ensure that the fruits of this research program will be brought into the educational and commercial marketplaces just as soon as possible.

The high-performance computing initiative is an excellent example of the philosophy of this administration: To invest in the future, to create new jobs and new opportunities for sustained economic growth. It is also an excellent example of how Government, industry, and academia can work together to develop new and important technologies.

And so, once again, welcome. And with that, it gives me great pleasure now to sign this legislation which will benefit Americans today and on into the next century.

Note: The President spoke at 1:31 p.m. in the Roosevelt Room at the White House. S. 272, approved December 9, was assigned Public Law No. 102 - 194.

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