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Intel's Barrett urges U.S. to intensify R&D efforts

Posted: 21 Aug 2008 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:education? R&D? health care?

The U.S. government should boost spending on R&D and K-12 math and science education, according to Craig Barrett, chairman, Intel Corp., sounding a familiar theme in an opening keynote at this week's Intel Developer Forum (IDF). He said a set of awards must be set in recognition for ideas using technology to advance education, health care, the environment and economic development around the world.

He added most of the people in 30 countries he usually travels to annually acknowledge the relationship between good education, R&D and a thriving economy.

Role of R&D
"If there is only one country where we don't see this, it is in the U.S.," he said. "R&D is how you move forward the world economic system, and it really all does begin with education," he noted.

Barrett chided U.S. lawmakers for letting the R&D tax credit lapse. "The government refuses to acknowledge the importance of investment in R&D as the engine that reinvigorates the economy," he stressed.

During his talk, Barrett cited instances on how information technology can benefit from education, health care, environment and overall economic development.

One developer showed how he could turn an ordinary wall into an interactive whiteboard using a Nintendo Wii, a projector and about $50 of electronics. Another talked about, one of the many efforts bringing to the Web microfinancing approaches used in developing countries. Separately, a doctor from Columbia showed a mobile device that could capture and send medical records from a traveler to his primary care physician.

Fighting for a cause
Making a small contribution to the cause, Barrett posted a technology challenge for four new $100,000 awards to serve novel projects in education, health care, environment and economic development. The awards will go to implement the best programs submitted to an Intel Website and will be awarded at an IDF event in the spring.

"The ideas are out there and an immense amount of technology can create something good in the world," he said.

- Rick Merritt
EE Times

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