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National Archives

Public Papers - 1992 - February

Statement by Press Secretary Fitzwater on the National Technology Initiative

1992-02-12

The President today endorsed a February 12, 1992, conference at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to launch the national technology initiative.

The President today in New Hampshire said, ``Look to the long-term, and we've got work to do . . . steps we can take right now to guarantee progress and prosperity into the next American century. We get there by investing in the technologies of tomorrow . . . with Federal support of R D at record levels . . . . We need to share the results, get the great ideas generated by public funds out into the private sector, off the drawing board and onto store shelves. Our national technology initiative will do just that. . . . at M.I.T., the first regional meeting is underway.''

The conference is the first of a series of regional meetings intended to spur U.S. economic competitiveness by promoting a better understanding of the opportunities for industry to commercialize new technology advances. The program will highlight the Federal Government's investment in advanced technologies, much of which may have commercial potential. It also will stress recent changes in Federal policies designed to foster private sector cooperation in commercializing technology.

Secretary of Energy James D. Watkins, Acting Commerce Secretary Rockwell A. Schnabel, Acting Transportation Secretary James B. Busey, and NASA Administrator Richard Truly described the joint initiative as a way to address one of the key challenges facing industry: the need to translate new technologies into marketplace goods and services. Encouraging closer cooperation among U.S. companies and better links with Federal laboratories is a central element of the initiative.

The M.I.T. conference and subsequent meetings around the country will provide an opportunity for a discussion among Government, industry, and universities and increase awareness of Federal science and technology programs that can benefit U.S. firms. In recent years, Congress and the Bush administration have taken steps to better enable the private sector to commercialize federally supported research.

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