President Obama has relentlessly focused on building U.S. talent and capacity in science and technology; making the long-term investments that will continue to power American innovation; and setting ambitious goals that inspire and harness the ingenuity and creativity of the American people.
On October 13, President Obama hosted a day-long White House Frontiers Conference in Pittsburgh to encourage Americans to imagine our Nation and the world in 50 years and beyond, and to explore America’s potential to broaden participation and advance towards the frontiers that will make the world healthier, more prosperous, more equitable, and more secure.
The conference—co-hosted by the White House, the University of Pittsburgh, and Carnegie Mellon University—brings together researchers, business leaders, technologists, philanthropists, local innovators, and students who are the change-makers of tomorrow on these five frontiers.
In addition, the President will further explore the five themes of the conference in the November issue of WIRED, which will be guest-edited by the President on the theme of “Frontiers.”
The Administration is opening the conference with more than $300 million in announcements that exemplify the critical roles that Federal investments, innovative policymaking, and multi-sector collaboration play in seeding prosperity:
$70 million in new National Institutes of Health (NIH) investments to help researchers better understand the brain and, ultimately, uncover the mysteries that hold the key to future scientific breakthroughs in areas such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases, depression, and traumatic brain injury.
$16 million and four new partners within the Precision Medicine Initiative national research study, doubling the number of regional medical health care organizations that will enroll individuals into the large scale health study and push the boundaries of medical care and research innovation.
$165 million in public and private funds to support cities in using technology and data to tackle critical quality-of-life challenges, such as traffic congestion.
Harnessing the power of data to improve the U.S. criminal justice system, announcing that the Police Data Initiative and the Data-Driven Justice Initiative have each grown to over 100 communities nationwide.
Releasing a White House report on preparing for the future of artificial intelligence (AI), outlining the issues that society will have to grapple with to unlock the possibilities of AI.
New steps to develop technology—such as deep-space habitats—to help meet the President’s goal of sending a human mission to Mars by the 2030s.
$50 million in Federal funds to fuel a revolution in small-satellite technology that could provide capabilities such as ubiquitous high-speed Internet connectivity and continuously updated imagery of the Earth.
A new space-weather Executive Order to coordinate efforts to prepare the Nation for space-weather events.
White House Frontiers Conference
The White House Frontiers Conference is the first of its kind—a day-long gathering hosted by President Obama to discuss and collaborate on the opportunities and challenges we as a Nation face over the next half-century and beyond.
The conference includes the participation of more than 700 innovators from across academia, industry, government, and civil society, who will discuss five frontiers of innovation:
- Personal frontiers in health care innovation and precision medicine;
- Local frontiers in building smart, inclusive communities, including through investments in open data and the Internet of things;
- National frontiers in harnessing the potential of artificial intelligence, including data science, machine learning, automation, and robotics to engage and benefit all Americans;
- Global frontiers in accelerating the clean energy revolution and developing advanced climate information, tools, services, and collaborations; and
- Interplanetary frontiers in space exploration, including our journey to Mars.
Additional themes cut across the conference’s programming, including:
- The importance of cross-sector and multi-disciplinary collaboration for solving difficult challenges;
- Education innovation to develop skills for Americans at all levels;
- Job creation across these sectors; and
- Equity, to ensure all Americans have access to these innovations and benefit from advances in these frontiers.
Participants will have the opportunity to engage in in-depth conversations, view technology demonstrations, hear lighting talks, share work already in progress, and learn from a diverse array of perspectives.
In addition to those attending in person, components of the conference will be livestreamed, and there will be digital opportunities for the public to participate in this critical conversation. Learn more about the conference, including the agenda and speakers, here.
For the White House’s full fact sheet, click here.