By WRAL Tech Wire STEM News

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Department of Education Secretary Arne Duncan formally will launch the Digital Promise initiative on Friday in the Eisenhower Executive Office at 10 a.m.

The Digital Promise encompasses the National Research Center for Advanced Information and Digital Technologies, a non-profit corporation approved by Congress to “advance breakthrough technologies that can help transform teaching and learning.”

Secretary Duncan will deliver a keynote address. During the launch, the White House also will announce new initiatives lawmakers hope will spur research and development and private-sector investment in learning technologies.

Digital Promise was created by the U.S. Congress as part of the 2008 re-authorization of the Higher Education Act.

According to the statute, Digital Promise’s purpose is “to support a comprehensive research and development program to harness the increasing capacity of advanced information and digital technologies to improve all levels of learning and education, formal and informal, in order to provide Americans with the knowledge and skills needed to compete in the global economy.”

The Initiative will build on the themes of innovation and entrepreneurship in President Barack Obama’s joint congressional session speech last week. During the launch, the administration also will announce new initiatives to spur R&D and private-sector investment in learning technology and address barriers to entrepreneurial success.

Founded after more than a decade of effort, including a 2004 report to Congress, Digital Promise has been endorsed by virtually every major national association of educators and educational institutions, libraries, and museums.

The project that gave rise to Digital Promise was launched by the Carnegie, Century, Knight, MacArthur, and Open Society foundations, sustained by the Federation of American Scientists, and championed by a coalition of republicans and democrats, civic and business leaders, who came together on its behalf.

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