economic disruptions just waiting to happen cannot be predicted today. Without ongoing federal investment in fundamental research there would still be innovation, but the quantity, pace, and the range of new ideas for U.S. industry to draw from would be greatly diminished—as would the flow of people educated at the technological forefront, the most important product of the nation’s research universities.
The lessons of history are clear. A multifaceted partnership among government, industry, and universities made the United States the world leader in IT, and IT has become essential to our economic and social well-being—and national security. The federal government’s sponsorship of fundamental research in IT—largely university based—has been and will continue to be essential. Without committing the resources needed to fuel U.S. IT innovation, the United States risks ceding IT leadership to other nations.
The best way to predict the future is to invent it.
—Alan Kay (1971)