Information Technology as Part of the Golden Triangle

It is always exciting to feel that what you do at work is important.  It helps you get up every morning, even makes the commute a little easier.  This is especially true these days with those of us involved in technology.

I, of course, usually think in terms of Information Technology.  But these days we need to share the excitement with other aspects of technology.  The White House, in fact, has tied IT together with biotechnology and nanotechnology, referring to the three technologies as the ‘Golden Triangle.’

Of course, the attention is exciting in itself to us technology buffs.  But the White House is looking at the bigger picture, with technology as a means of benefiting society, especially with respect to the economy.  Think jobs!

As examples, the President’s Office of Science and Technology, in referring to the “immense transformative power of technology and innovation,” lists commitments to broadband infrastructure, health IT, public safety communications, education, clean energy sources, and next generation manufacturing technologies.

Earlier this summer, the President’s Innovation and Technology Advisory Committee, which includes representatives of industry and academia, met to discuss how the Government can foster Golden Triangle technologies leading to new products and jobs.  Google’s Eric Schmidt and Rensselaer’s Shirley Ann Jackson blogged about the effort and the press has picked up on the theme.  Not that we are wanting for new terminology, but we do seem to have a new one: the ‘nano-bio-info convergence.’

The President’s Committee invited the public to provide input.  It is fascinating to me to see what people think and one of the more common threads suggested opening up the invention and development process, allowing more individuals and organizations to contribute to the effort.

Some of the ideas to facilitate innovation and the resulting jobs that the committee members discussed during their meeting include improving lines of communication between Federal agencies, creating innovation zones, encouraging the sharing of new ideas, providing tax credits, and creating an enabling infrastructure.

Challenging times can be rewarding times.  Today we are all challenged to use our technology to help society in ways we never expected.