The second pillar of PCAST’s report homes in on a new model for leveraging the strength of America’s National Laboratories to enhance and accelerate substantial front-to-back progress in IotF. The cornerstone recommendation involves establishing a new type of world-class, multi-sector R&D institute that catalyzes innovation at all stages of R&D — from discovery research to development, deployment, and commercialization of new technologies. Two areas are identified as candidates for initial flagship institutes. The first would focus on the integration of AI and advanced manufacturing, while the second would combine AI and biotechnology to enhance biosecurity, biosafety, and biosphere sustainability.
Success in those areas depends on the nation’s ability to strengthen, grow, and diversify the STEM workforce at all levels. In order to do so, America must create STEM training and education opportunities for individuals from all backgrounds, STEM and non-STEM, including underrepresented and underserved populations, the report notes.
The June report is the culmination of a process begun in November 2019 to develop a set of recommendations to help ensure American leadership in artificial intelligence, quantum information science, advanced manufacturing, advanced communications networks, and biotechnology. Created by Executive Order in 2019, PCAST advises the president on matters involving science, technology, education, and innovation policy.