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CRA Letter to Congress on the Information Technology
for the Twenty-First Century (IT2) initiative

April 30, 1999

Dear Member of Congress:

I am writing on behalf of the Computing Research Association to urge your support for the proposed FY 2000 R&D budget's proposed Information Technology R&D Initiative, which would revitalize federal support for broad-based, precompetitive, long-term IT research. Expanding support for IT research is critical to the future of our economy, public infrastructure and services, scientific progress, and the quality of life for all Americans.

The computing research community is wholeheartedly behind this initiative, as it addresses concerns that we've been raising for several years and that have more recently been voiced by the President's Information Technology Advisory Committee (PITAC). The federal investment in computing, information, and communications research generates the innovations that fuel the information technology industry and the information technology revolution. U.S. industry enjoys a clear lead in the global IT marketplace, but it cannot be taken for granted - the rapid pace of progress in IT and the success of U.S. IT firms stem from a long history of careful investments and highly effective federal research efforts. These arguments are developed further in CRA's 1997 report, Computing Research: A National Investment for Leadership in the 21st Century, which we'd be pleased to send you upon request. A strong federal role in IT research also ensures that proper attention is paid to improving the accessibility, reliability, and security of information infrastructure and making governmental information-based services more responsiveness to citizens' needs.

As explained in the enclosed fact sheets, the initiative will implement the recommendations of PITAC, an independent, Congressionally-chartered Committee which found that the current federal investment in IT research is inadequate and too focused on near-term problems. The initiative directly addresses these concerns and sets forth a compelling strategy for putting federal IT research on a sound footing well into the twenty-first century.

We urge the 106th Congress to continue the strong tradition of bipartisan support for computing and communications research initiatives by fully funding the FY 2000 IT initiative. The success of the High Performance Computing and Communications program and the Next Generation Internet initiative, for instance, is due in no small part to the contributions of many legislators.

Thank you for your consideration of these remarks. For additional information or assistance, your staff should feel free to contact CRA's Director of Government Affairs, Lisa Thompson, at 202-234-2111 or


Edward Lazowska
CRA Board Chair


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Document last modified on Wednesday, 04-Apr-2012 06:51:14 PDT.