Current Projects

Technological Innovation

  • Partnership for a New Generation of Vehicles (PNGV)

  • This historic public/private partnership between seven Federal government agencies and the U.S. automobile industry aims to establish global leadership in development and production of vehicle technologies that preserve personal mobility while further reducing the impact of cars and light trucks on the environment and reducing dependence on imported petroleum. PNGV's long term goal, dubbed the "Supercar" goal , is to develop an environmentally friendly car with up to triple the fuel efficiency of today's midsize cars-- without sacrificing affordability, performance, or safety.  Announced on September 29, 1993 by President Clinton, Vice President Gore, and the CEOs of Chrysler, Ford, and General Motors, the partnership' s Federal component is lead by the Department of Commerce, in coordination with OSTP.  Research support is also provided by over 350 automotive suppliers, universities, and small businesses.
  • Partnership for Advanced Technologies for Housing (PATH)

  • On May 4, 1998, the President announced PATH, a new partnership with America's building industry to dramatically improve the energy efficiency of our homes -- cutting consumers' energy bills by 30-50 percent, while reducing the greenhouse gases that cause global warming.  Federal government agencies, in conjunction with OSTP, are partnering with builders, developers, product suppliers, insurers and financiers to develop, demonstrate and deploy housing technologies, designs and practices that can significantly improve the quality of housing without raising the cost of construction.  The goals of PATH are to create markets, consumer demand, technologies, practices and capabilities so that all new homes by 2010 will be built cheaper, more environmentally sustainable, more disaster resistant, more durable and safer.
  • United States Innovation Partnership (USIP)

  • OSTP and the Department of Commerce (DOC) provide Federal coordination for the USIP, a partnership between the Nation's governors and the Administration announced in February 1997.  The USIP is a cooperative relationship to achieve new economic growth, high quality jobs, and globally competitive businesses by leveraging U.S. science and technology leadership and resources through partnerships among states, the Federal government, industry, and universities.  USIP task forces have been formed to (1) build partnerships to leverage the Federal investment in the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program in Federal agencies, (2) promote electronic commerce, (3) shape the next generation of the Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP), and (4) provide technology information to entrepreneurs.  USIP has been instrumental in helping the DOC in its evaluation of the Advanced Technology Program (ATP) and the establishment of the new Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Technology (EPSCoT).

    Information Technology

  • Computing, Information, and Communications R&D

  • The long-term R&D funded through the Federal CIC R&D programs help accelerate advances in computing, information, and communications technologies.  These advances not only are essential for Federal agencies to fulfill their missions, but also help to assure national security and to meet national goals for improving environmental management, ensuring access to health care, providing tools for lifelong learning and training, and sustaining  U.S. economic competitiveness.  An outgrowth of the highly successful High Performance Computing and Communications (HPCC) initiative, the programs are coordinated by the National Coordination Office (NCO) for CIC, with oversight provided by OSTP.
  • Next Generation Internet (NGI) Initiative

  • OSTP provides leadership for the President's NGI initiative, a three-year research program that will: invest in R&D for new networking technologies, such as the ability to handle real-time multimedia traffic; connect more than 100 research institutions at speeds that are 100 to 1,000 times faster than today' s Internet; and demonstrate new applications in areas such as distance education, telemedicine, national security, and collaboratories (laboratories without walls).  Built on the base of programs underway as part of the CIC R&D, the initiative will call for partnerships and collaboration with the private sector and the academic community.
  • Advisory Committee on High-Performance Computing and Communications, Information Technology, and the Next Generation Internet

  • In February 1997, President Clinton established an Advisory Committee to provide the National Science and Technology Council (NSTC), through the Director of OSTP, with guidance and advice on all areas of high performance computing, information technology, and the Next Generation Internet.  The members bring a wide range of expertise and interest from the research, education, and library communities, network providers, and telecommunications and computing industries.
  • Domain Names Governance

  • Under the  Presidential Directive on electronic commerce issued on July 1, 1997, the Department of Commerce was designated the lead agency on the domain names and tasked to "support efforts to make the governance of the domain name system private and competitive and to create a contractually based self-regulatory regime that deals with potential conflicts between domain name usage and trademark laws on a global basis." On January 30, 1998, the Department issued a draft discussion paper and proposed rulemaking, entitled "Technical Management of Internet Names and Addresses" and comments received inresponse have been posted on the website  for the paper.  OSTP initially co-chaired the interagency working group and is currently focused on the evolution of the US national domain, .us.
    Education and Training Technology

  • Executive Memorandum on Federal Training

  • OSTP, together with the National Economic Council, leads an interagency working group to the implementation of the Executive Memorandum on Enhancing Learning and Education Through Training.  The memorandum directs Federal agencies to explore how Federal programs and initiatives can better support the use of technologies for training Federal employees and for presenting opportunities for lifelong learning.  Many agencies are already improving training by using new technology effectively, but more can be done.  New instructional technologies can also make education, at work and at home, easier and more convenient for all American workers.  Federal programs that provide financial support for lifelong learning should adapt to the new opportunities technology provides.  The interagency group convened by OSTP and NEC is investigating how to make full use of emerging technologies to improve the cost-effectiveness and quality of Federal training programs and to develop a plan identifying areas in which technology-enhanced training and learning may complement conventional Federal training and learning.
  • America' s Treasures Online

  • OSTP leads an interagency effort, America's Treasures Online, that will galvanize Federal efforts to get Federal collections online and to challenge the American community to find ways to help us both by assisting in efforts to get national collections on line and taking the leadership to sponsor efforts to get local collections on line.  The Smithsonian Institution, the National Archives, and other Federal agencies are the custodians of priceless records of American achievements in the arts and sciences as well as the raw material of American history.   Federal government is the custodian of such things as the Apollo 11 command module, recordings of Martin Luther King's "I have a dream" speech, and the compass Lewis and Clark used to explore the American west.   Priceless collections are held in museums and other centers around the country.  New digital technology and the Internet give us powerful new tools for making these materials easily available to homes and schools throughout America.
  • Computers for Learning

  • President Clinton defined the mission of Computers for Learning in Executive Order 12999, Educational Technology:  Ensuring Opportunity for All Children in the Next Century,  which states his goal, "to ensure that American children have the skills they need to succeed in the information intensive 21st Century."  The Program is designed to streamline the transfer of surplus Federal computer equipment to schools and nonprofit educational organizations, giving special consideration to those with the greatest need.  Schools and educational profits can quickly and easily register to request surplus Federal computer equipment through the website at or toll free number at (888) 362-7870
    Space and Aeronautics

  • National Space Policy

  • Since 1993, the Clinton Administration has established and implemented a series of space policies to address a broad range of civil, national security, and commercial activities.  These policies are based on the cumulative experience of the United States in space over the past 40 years, they recognize the current domestic and international environments—most importantly, the end of the Cold War—and they reflect the growing maturity of U.S. government, commercial, and international space capabilities.  These policies explain major Administration initiatives, goals, and priorities;  they establish and enable U.S. government agency roles and activities;  and they recognize the interactions among the four space sectors—civil, military, intelligence, and commercial.  In 1996 the President signed the overarching National Space Policy, the principal document guiding the activities of the U.S. civil, national security, and commercial space sectors.  This important policy establishes that the United States will maintain its role as a world leader in space by supporting a strong, stable, and balanced national space program that serves broader goals in national security, foreign policy, economic growth, environmental stewardship, and scientific and technical excellence.  OSTP works closely with the U.S. space sectors to oversee the implementation of the President' s goals and priorities as established by these policies.


  • Global Positioning System

  • The U.S. Department of Defense funded, developed, and today operates the Global Positioning System (GPS) as a satellite-based, radio-navigation system.  Through coded satellite signals that can be processed in a user' s receiver, GPS allows users to determine their three-dimensional position, velocity, and time from anywhere on Earth—land, sea, or air.  Though designed for military use, civilians worldwide also use GPS for navigation, surveying, and precise timekeeping.  The civil GPS system can determine a user' s position with accuracy of better than 100 meters, while the military GPS system can achieve better than 10-meter accuracy.  OSTP developed and now helps to implement the President' s 1996 U.S. Global Positioning System Policy.  OSTP also works with U.S. government agencies and in international fora to protect the portion of the radio spectrum in which GPS operates from encroachment by other spectrum users.  In addition, OSTP assists with agreements between the United States and other nations on the cooperative use of GPS as an international standard.


  • International Space Station

  • Once fully assembled, the International Space Station (ISS) will be the world' s largest scientific project involving international collaboration.  Sixteen nations, led by the United States, are working to build, operate, and occupy the ISS, which will be a symbol of the great accomplishments that can result from global cooperation in the post-Cold War era.  Constantly orbiting the Earth, ISS will serve as a world-class laboratory for scientific and technological research in the unique environment of space.  The first two elements of the ISS were launched and joined in orbit in November and December of 1998.  Forty-five Space Shuttle and Russian rocket missions will deliver over 100 pieces of ISS hardware to orbit so that the ISS can be completed by the year 2004.  OSTP serves as the White House focal point for ISS policy and program oversight.  OSTP has been working closely with NASA to develop and implement U.S. contingency plans to protect against potential Russian shortfalls in their ability to meet their commitments to the ISS.


  • Aviation Safety

  • Last year, OSTP coordinated the Administration' s appeal, via a letter from the Vice President, to Congress that resulted in an additional $100 million for deployment of explosive detection systems at the Nation' s airports.
  • Remote Sensing

  • OSTP assists with implementation of President Clinton' s 1994 Landsat Remote Sensing Strategy and the U.S. Policy on on Foreign Access to Remote Sensing Space Capabilities.  Landsat satellites orbit and image the Earth to provide calibrated data on the planet' s surface to a broad user community including the agricultural community, global change researchers, state and local governments, the military, and commercial users.  The 1994 policy provides for the continuation of the Landsat program, detailing government agency responsibilities for managing and operating the program and issuing guidance for the sale of Landsat data sets.  The policy also promotes private sector commercial opportunities in Landsat-type remote sensing.  OSTP facilitates interactions between government and industry on foreign policy and national security issues as well as business planning related to commercial remote sensing activities.  In addition, OSTP helped to develop and now oversees the implementation of the President' s 1994 policy on Convergence of U.S. Polar-Orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite Systems, in which the President called for the merging of civil and defense sector polar-orbiting weather satellite programs to reduce the cost of acquiring polar-orbiting environmental satellites.


  • Space Transportation

  • In 1994, the President issued the National Space Transportation Policy, which outlines the nation' s goals and plans for maintaining and modernizing U.S. capabilities to ensure reliable and affordable access to space for the U.S. civil, national security, and commercial space sectors.  The policy describes each sector' s responsibilities for ensuring that the United States maintains strong space transportation capabilities.

    - CIVIL SECTOR: According to the 1994 policy, NASA is responsible for assuring that the Space Shuttle system is safe and reliable.  Another NASA responsibility is to work with the private sector to develop technology and demonstration vehicles for a next-generation reusable launch system.  NASA has partnered with industry to develop the X-33 and X-34 reusable launch vehicle technology demonstration vehicles.  These efforts will help the government and the private sector decide whether to develop a new, operation reusable launch vehicle early in the 21st century.  OSTP monitors Space Shuttle safety issues and supports development of reusable launch vehicle demonstration vehicles.

    - NATIONAL SECURITY SECTOR: The 1994 policy assigns the Department of Defense, in cooperation with the U.S. commercial space sector, responsibility for improving efficiency and lowering the cost of expendable launch vehicles.  In October 1998, the Department of Defense awarded contracts to two private launch companies to develop new families of expendable launch vehicles.  OSTP supported the Department of Defense' s selection and awarding of these contracts.

    - COMMERCIAL SECTOR: The President' s 1994 policy reiterates the federal government' s long-standing commitment to encouraging a viable commercial U.S. space launch industry.  OSTP supports this industry-friendly policy, which has enabled the U.S. commercial space sector to replace the government as the U.S. space sector with the highest annual launch rate.  In 1998, the United States surpassed all other nations in commercial space launches, capturing 47% of the world market.  The U.S. commercial launch rate has doubled since 1996.  OSTP also addreses Administration views regarding space launch-related legislation proposed by Congress to aid the U.S. private launch industry.


    Office of Science and Technology Policy
    Technology Division
    1600 Pennsylvania Ave, N.W
    Room 423
    Washington, DC 20502
    202-456.6023 fax
    Flag BAr
    [Home Page][Citizens' Handbook icon][Help Desk]

    To comment on this service, send feedback to the Web Development Team.