The White House has released its priorities for science and technology in fiscal year (FY) 2011. In a joint annual memo from the Office of Science and Technology Policy and the Office of Management and Budget, the White House has informed heads of all federal agencies to "build upon the science and technology priorities already reflected in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and the FY 2010 budget." Federal investments should focus on four practical challenges: economic recovery and growth, energy independence and mitigation of the impacts of climate change, improvement of human health, and defense technologies. To address these issues, agencies should increase productivity of research centers and non-government partners, strengthen science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education, improve infrastructure, and enhance space capabilities.

In addition, the memo outlines several guiding principles for science within the federal government. Agencies are to strive for transparency and scientific integrity, as well as to promote high-risk research. Additionally, agencies should strive "to take advantage of today's open innovation model-in which the whole chain from research to application does not have to take place within a single lab, agency or firm-and become highly open to ideas from many players, at all stages."

 


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