The high-tech industry has been good about focusing research dollars on key problems. Apple, AT&T, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Intel, and Microsoft, among others, are well-known examples. Government already knows this, and many agencies work with such corporations and various universities for the joint good of business and the public. Keep it up.
The Obama administration should beware the research priorities it hears from the venture capital community. The VC business is about exploiting tech-based business bandwagons as they start to move -- not about creating new technologies, as popular mythology has it -- and so VCs reward the likely winners after someone else has done the hard work. VCs follow, not lead, and when they appear to lead, it's typically in service of their own investments (example: the several efforts by VC Vinod Khosla to get voter approval of ballot initiatives that would essentially have the state fund his environmental tech startups' products).
The near-term research priorities where government funding is useful are fairly obvious: wide-area network design (especially wireless), sensor technology, analytics technology, materials reuse and reduction technology (especially for the often toxic materials used in high-tech products), and the trio of battery, alternative energy, and energy-efficiency technologies. The industry will take care of the core product-oriented technology areas such as storage, semiconductors, user interfaces, speech and voice recognition, network management, and software design.
Finally, the federal government should further invest in basic research programs such as DARPA that have kept U.S. computer science advanced for decades and led to the Internet and other now-common innovations. DARPA, the Defense Advanced Projects Research Agency, is obviously skewed to military research, so I urge the Obama administration to consider a civilian counterpart that would be as effective in nonmilitary research as DARPA has been in its sphere. The whole point of basic research is long term investigation, not to address specific problems, so a tech agenda that focuses only on specific problems starves us of the resources for addressing the opportunities and problems we don't yet know about. Carve out a bigger space for the unknown.