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Leading the World in Innovation

The American Competitiveness Initiative:
A Letter from the President

My fellow Americans,

One of the great engines of our growing economy is our Nation’s capacity to innovate. Through America’s investments in science and technology, we have revolutionized our economy and changed the world for the better. Groundbreaking ideas generated by innovative minds in the private and public sectors have paid enormous dividends—improving the lives and livelihoods of generations of Americans.

To build on our successes and remain a leader in science and technology, I am pleased to announce the American Competitiveness Initiative. The American Competitiveness Initiative commits $5.9 billion in FY 2007 to increase investments in research and development, strengthen education, and encourage entrepreneurship. Over 10 years, the Initiative commits $50 billion to increase funding for research and $86 billion for research and development tax incentives. Federal investment in research and development has proved critical to keeping America’s economy strong by generating knowledge and tools upon which new technologies are developed. My 2007 Budget requests $137 billion for Federal research and development, an increase of more than 50 percent over 2001 levels. Much of this increased Federal funding has gone toward biomedical research and advanced security technologies, enabling us to improve the health of our citizens and enhance national security. We know that as other countries build their economies and become more technologically advanced, America will face a new set of challenges. To ensure our continued leadership in the world, I am committed to building on our record of results with new investments—especially in the fields of physical sciences and engineering. Advances in these areas will generate scientific and technological discoveries for decades to come.

The bedrock of America’s competitiveness is a well-educated and skilled workforce. Education has always been a fundamental part of achieving the American Dream, and the No Child Left Behind Act is helping to ensure that every student receives a high-quality education. Accountability and high standards are producing positive results in the classroom, and we can do more to provide American students and workers with the skills and training needed to compete with the best and brightest around the world. Building on our successes, the American Competitiveness Initiative funds increased professional development for teachers, attracts new teachers to the classroom, develops research-based curricula, and provides access to flexible resources for worker training.

As we increase investments in research and development, strengthen education, and provide more flexible training for workers, we continue to keep taxes low, avoid unnecessary and burdensome regulations, promote free and fair trade, maintain the integrity of our markets, and foster entrepreneurship. Over the past five years, my Administration has lowered taxes to create more jobs, opened new markets to U.S. products and services, created incentives for private sector innovation, and protected intellectual property rights.

America’s economy is strong and getting stronger. My 2007 Budget recognizes the importance of innovation to our economic future—fostering and encouraging all the components that make our economic engine the envy of the world. In partnership with the private sector, State and local governments, and colleges and universities, the American Competitiveness Initiative will promote new levels of educational achievement and economic productivity. With the right policies, we will maintain America's competitive edge, we will create more jobs, and we will improve the quality of life and standard of living for generations to come.

February 2, 2006

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