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U.s. Tech Lead Is at Risk, Says Obama's Top Scientist

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U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Steven Chu

The United States still has the opportunity to lead technology innovation in some areas, says U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Steven Chu, "but I think time is running out."

Credit: Associated Press

The United States is in danger of losing its technological edge amid a deterioration in its global competitiveness, warns U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu. Particularly alarming is the country's loss of leadership in the area of high technology manufacturing.

Chu says that China's global share of the tech export market rose from 6 percent in 1995 to 20 percent in 2008, while the U.S. share fell from about 25 percent in 1998 to the current 12-13 percent. He says U.S. tech innovations such as the Internet did "wonderful things" to generate wealth in the United States in previous years, and stresses the development of alternative energy vehicles, renewable energy, high speed rail, and supercomputing as being crucial to sustaining U.S. tech leadership.

The United States "still has the opportunity to lead in a world" in generating cheap, carbon free technology, and thus enable the country's "future prosperity," Chu says. However, he cautions that "time is running out."

From Computerworld
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