Dr. Neal F. Lane


White House Conference Center

February 2, 1998

Release of the President's FY 1999 Budget Request

My thanks go out to the Vice President and all my colleagues here today. We have lots of good news about America's future to share with you. I couldn't be more pleased.

The good news for NSF begins at the bottom line.

When we think about numbers like these, it's only natural to ask what this increased investment allows us to do.

More than anything else, this investment allows us to cultivate the kinds of activities needed to keep U.S. science and engineering at the leading edge. This goes to the core of NSF's mission of advancing research and education across all fields and disciplines.

All our investments are based on competitive merit review, and they encompass a diverse array of activities -- ranging from individuals working on their own to large, collaborative activities involving groups and teams of scientists and engineers. This is truly the defining strength of our university research and education enterprise, and it makes clear why the President has assigned high priority to investments in academic science and engineering.

In the request, you'll see an emphasis on the most promising areas of science and engineering -- areas like information technologies and global change and environment, consistent with the President's priorities. We're continuing our strategy of restructuring our portfolio around broad multidisciplinary themes, such as Knowledge and Distributed Intelligence, Life and Earth's Environment, and Educating for the Future.

One highlight from our request is a new partnerships we are entering with the U.S. Department of Education for Research on Education and Training Technologies. This is aimed at identifying the uses of technology that improve student learning in the most cost effective ways. It's an overdue investment, given how technology is fast becoming a major part of schools -- and school budgets.

That's just one of many highlights contained in the request, and I want to invite all of you to join us at NSF for our briefing at 3:00 this afternoon.

Let me close by emphasizing that this request, by providing a 10% increase for the Foundation, represents a true investment in America's future.

When you add it all up, what this budget does first and foremost is set the stage for a new century of progress through learning and discovery. In the final analysis, that is the real bottom line, and it's the best news of all for the American people.

- NSF -

For more information, see also: NSF Fiscal Year Budget Request, and Fact Sheet.

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