Americas economy leads the world because our system of private enterprise rewards innovation. Entrepreneurs, scientists, and skilled workers create and apply the technologies that are changing our world. President Bush believes that government must work to help create a new generation of American innovation and an atmosphere where innovation thrives.
On April 26, 2004, President Bush announced a series of specific measures to inspire a new generation of American innovation policies to encourage clean and reliable energy, assure better delivery of health care, and expand access to high-speed Internet in every part of America. By giving our workers the best technology and the best training, we will make sure that the American economy remains the most flexible, advanced, and productive in the world.
Providing a Cleaner and More Secure Energy Future through Hydrogen Fuel Technology: The President announced that the Department of Energy has selected partners through a competitive process to fund new hydrogen research projects totaling $350 million ($575 million with private cost share) to overcome obstacles to a hydrogen economy. This represents nearly one-third of the Presidents $1.2 billion commitment in research funding to bring hydrogen and fuel cell technology from the laboratory to the showroom. The projects will include 28 awards to academia, industry, and national laboratories. The new hydrogen projects address four key areas:
Creating effective hydrogen storage: Current hydrogen storage systems are inadequate for use in the wide range of vehicles that consumers demand. Exploratory research and development is needed to overcome the grand challenge for hydrogen storage.
Conducting hydrogen vehicle and infrastructure learning demonstrations: To complement laboratory research, automakers and energy companies need to work together to develop integrated technology solutions for a national infrastructure. These demonstrations will provide important performance, cost, and durability data on fuel cell vehicle and hydrogen refueling infrastructure. This new data will allow us to refocus research priorities as progress is made.
Developing affordable and durable hydrogen fuel cells: Currently, fuel cells are as much as ten times more expensive than internal combustion engines. New cost-shared projects will be formed with five businesses to develop fuel cells for consumer electronic devices, and auxiliary power and off-road applications.
Developing a Hydrogen Education Campaign: A new effort will aim to build the next generation workforce, engage students in science and technology, and overcome the public education and acceptance barriers to achieving the hydrogen economy.
Transforming Health Care through Health Information Technology: President Bush believes that innovations in electronic medical records and the secure exchange of medical information will help transform health care in America - improving health care quality, reducing health care costs, preventing medical errors, improving administrative efficiencies, reducing paperwork, and increasing access to affordable health care. The President has set an ambitious goal of assuring that most Americans have electronic health records within the next 10 years. To achieve his 10-year goal, the President is taking the following steps to urge coordinated public and private sector efforts that will accelerate broader adoption of health information technologies:
Adopting Health Information Standards. The President called for the completion and adoption of standards, collaboratively developed with the private sector, that will allow medical information to be stored and shared electronically while assuring privacy and security.
Doubling Funding to $100 Million for Demonstration Projects on Health Information Technology. To build upon the progress we have already made in the area of health care standardization, the Presidents proposed FY 2005 budget includes $100 million for demonstration projects by hospitals and health care providers that will help us test the effectiveness of health information technology and establish best practices for more widespread adoption in the health care industry.
Fostering the Adoption of Health Information Technology. As one of the largest buyers of health care, the Federal Government can create incentives and opportunities for health care providers to use electronic records.
Creating a New, Sub-Cabinet Level Position of National Health Information Technology Coordinator. The President will charge the National Coordinator with working with government, industry, and experts in the field to help fulfill his vision of a health care system that is patient-centered and that gives patients information they need to make clinical and economic decisions in consultation with dedicated health care professionals.
Promoting Innovation and Economic Security through Broadband Technology: The President has called for universal, affordable access for broadband technology by the year 2007 and wants to make sure we give Americans plenty of technology choices when it comes to purchasing broadband. Broadband technology will enhance our Nation's economic competitiveness and will help improve education and health care for all Americans. Broadband provides Americans with high-speed Internet access connections that improve the Nations economic productivity and offer life-enhancing applications, such as distance learning, remote medical diagnostics, and the ability to work from home more effectively. The Bush Administration has implemented a wide range of policy directives to create economic incentives, remove regulatory barriers, and promote new technologies to help make broadband affordable. The President believes that lowering the cost of broadband will increase its use and availability.
Making broadband access tax-free will lower the cost to consumers. The President is calling on Congress to pass legislation making access to broadband permanently tax-free.
Working to enable the rollout of new broadband technologies. The Administration is acting aggressively to make additional spectrum available for wireless broadband and to create the technical standards needed to enable the widespread and responsible deployment of broadband over power lines.
The Federal Government must do its part to remove hurdles that slow the deployment of broadband. Broadband providers often have to cross or use Federal lands to reach consumers. To ensure that broadband providers can get timely responses from the Federal Government, the President has directed agencies to reform their practices to simplify and standardize their rights-of-way processes.
These initiatives outlined above complement the Bush Administrations other efforts to promote innovation and technology in America. President Bush has a proven track record of supporting Americas innovation economy, including:
Helping Community Colleges Train 100,000 Additional Workers: The Presidents Jobs for the 21st Century Initiative, announced in the State of the Union Address, includes a $250 million proposal to help Americas community colleges train 100,000 additional workers for the industries that are creating the most new jobs.
Doubling the Number of Workers Receiving Federal Job Training Assistance: The President has proposed to give governors more flexibility to get Federal training funds into the hands of workers in the form of Innovation Training Accounts (ITAs). These accounts give workers access to a range of training options that will help them compete for high-skill, high-demand jobs.
Increasing Federal R&D Funding: With President Bushs FY 2005 budget proposal, total Federal R&D investment during the first term will be increased 44 percent, to a record $132 billion in FY 2005, compared to $91 billion in FY 2001. Federal R&D spending in the FY 2005 budget represents the greatest share of GDP in over ten years.
Supporting Nanotechnology Research: Since 2001, funding for nanotechnology R&D has more than doubled to $1 billion and funding for information technology R&D is up to $2 billion.
Ensuring Better Health Care for All Americans: President Bush fulfilled a commitment by completing the historic doubling of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) budget by 2003, dramatically increasing medical research funded by NIH to speed cures and treatments for the diseases that plague our Nation and the world. The Presidents FY 2005 budget provides $28.6 billion for NIH, a $729 million increase, which will allow NIH to support a record total of nearly 40,000 research project grants.