The White House released the National Strategy for Critical and Emerging Technologies (C&ET) today, identifying 20 technologies as priorities and highlighting the need to support and secure their research and development.

The strategy emphasizes the role of the private sector, with government taking actions in support to create an environment that establishes the U.S. as the technology leader in the highest-priority areas.

“Private sector spending on R&D has eclipsed United States Government funding since 1980. However, the United States Government can create the necessary conditions for worldwide C&ET leadership,” the strategy states.

Two main pillars are laid out as guiding themes for the strategy: Promote the National Security Innovation Base, and Protect Technology Advantage. Within those themes are priority actions, which direct government action in broad terms to support those end goals.

“The National Strategy for C&ET encourages unity of effort across the United States Government and provides a framework from which deliberate actions will affect multiple technology areas in a coordinated manner,” the strategy states.

The technologies highlighted in the strategy include several IT-related fields, including:

  • Advanced Computing;
  • Advanced Sensing;
  • Artificial Intelligence;
  • Autonomous Systems;
  • Communication and Networking Technologies;
  • Data Science and Storage;
  • Distributed Ledger Technologies;
  • Human-Machine Interfaces;
  • Medical and Public Health Technologies;
  • Quantum Information Science; and
  • Semiconductors and Microelectronics.

Explicitly mentioned as strategic competitors are Russia and China, and their concerted investments to improve in these technology areas. Priority actions include addressing supply chain security and preventing any theft of research or intellectual property.

“The United States will not turn a blind eye to the tactics of countries like China and Russia, which steal technology, coerce companies into handing over intellectual property, undercut free and fair markets, and surreptitiously divert emerging civilian technologies to build up their militaries,” said Kayleigh McEnany, White House Press Secretary, in a statement accompanying the strategy.

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