While President Trump made only an indirect mention of the importance of emerging technologies in his State of the Union speech last night, the White House’s Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) was busy tying the President’s call for government investment in “cutting edge industries” to emerging technology sectors including quantum computing, artificial intelligence (AI), and 5G wireless services.

“I am eager to work with you on legislation to deliver new and important infrastructure investment, including investments in the cutting edge industries of the future,” President Trump said during his speech to both houses of Congress.  However, he didn’t identify any of those industries during his remarks.

In several Twitter posts coinciding with the President’s speech, OSTP discussed leveraging the “strength of our uniquely American R&D ecosystem” to ensure U.S. leadership in cutting edge industries.  Also making OSTP’s social media cut last night were several sectors considered to be on the cutting edge:

  • 5G – “The development and deployment of 5G will spur innovation, enable cutting-edge technological advancements, and bringing the benefits of connectivity to all Americans.”
  • Artificial intelligence (AI) – “AI innovations are quickly transforming American life and business, improving how we diagnose and treat illnesses, grow our food, manufacture and deliver new products, manage our finances, power our homes, and travel the world.”
  • Quantum – America’s quantum scientists and emerging quantum computing industry will build a foundation for entirely new, unimaginably powerful technologies, enabling lightning fast computing, medical breakthroughs, and improved national security.”
  • Advanced manufacturing – “Advanced manufacturing has the potential to create new, high-paying jobs and entirely new industries. From jobs making new medicines, to jobs 3D printing rocket parts, the technologies of the future will be invented and made by Americans.”

“President Trump’s commitment to American leadership in artificial intelligence, 5G wireless, quantum science, and advanced manufacturing will ensure that these technologies serve to benefit the American people and that the American innovation ecosystem remains the envy of the world for generations to come,” said Michael Kratsios, deputy U.S. Chief Technology Officer and Deputy Assistant to the President at OSTP.

Commenting on President Trump’s speech, Andy Halataei, Senior Vice President of Government Affairs at the Information Technology Industry Council, said in a statement, “Robust investment in innovation will catalyze the economic growth and pioneering spirit that is foundational to America’s continued success and prosperity in the 21st century.”

He continued, “We commend President Trump’s call to prioritize investment in next wave technologies that will transform our lives and the world around us. From deploying 5G technology to supporting advanced manufacturing to promoting the responsible growth and governance of AI and quantum computing, a commitment to advancing industries of the future spurs economic growth and job creation, ensures the global competitiveness of the U.S. tech industry, and meets the current and future needs of the American people. The tech industry is encouraged by President Trump’s commitment and looks forward to collaborating with his administration, Congress, and stakeholders to turn his call into action.”

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John Curran
John Curran
John Curran is MeriTalk's Managing Editor covering the intersection of government and technology.