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May 12, 2009

NITRD Act Passed In House

The House of Representatives passed H.R. 2020, the Networking and Information Technology Research and Development Act of 2009, a bill that we have mentioned here previously. In support of the NITRD Act, CRA wrote a letter to Congressmen Bart Gordon (D-TN) and Ralph Hall (R-TX), the chair and ranking member of the House Committee on Science and Technology:

May 11, 2009

The Honorable Bart Gordon
House Committee on Science and Technology
2318 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515

The Honorable Ralph Hall
Ranking Member
House Committee on Science and Technology
394 Ford House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515

Chairman Gordon and Ranking Member Hall:

As an organization representing 240 industry and academic institutions involved in computing research and six affiliated professional societies, the Computing Research Association is pleased to support your efforts to bolster federal information technology research through H.R. 2020, the Networking and Information Technology Research and Development (NITRD) Act of 2009.

As you are aware, advances in information technology are transforming all aspects of our lives. Virtually every human endeavor today has been touched by information technology, including commerce, education, employment, health care, energy, manufacturing, governance, national security, communications the environment, entertainment, science and engineering. The profound reach of information technologies is enabled in large part by the innovations that spawn from the IT research ecosystem -- an incredibly productive, yet complex interplay of industry, universities and the federal government. Indeed, nearly every sub-sector of the IT economy today bears the stamp of federal support. The program responsible for overseeing this crucial federal investment is the Networking and Information Technology Research and Development (NITRD) program.

We believe the NITRD Act makes the NITRD program stronger by enacting several of the recommendations of the Presidentís Council of Advisors for Science and Technology (PCAST) review of the NITRD program in 2007. In particular, we are pleased the NITRD Act includes a requirement that the NITRD program undergo periodic review and assessment of the program contents and funding, as well as develop and periodically update a strategic plan -- both key recommendations of PCAST and necessary in helping ensure the significant federal investment in IT R&D is used as effectively as possible.

Key to this review and assessment will be an independent advisory committee composed of experts from academia, industry and government. We hope that this advisory committee, though co-chaired by PCAST members, will be independent and that you will work to ensure that the Administration names a strong panel reporting to the Office of Science and Technology Policy and the Presidentís Science Advisor with high-level, expert guidance on the structure and priorities of the program.

We thank you for your work on the legislation and for your long-standing support of the federal investment in IT research. We look forward to working with you and your colleagues as you endeavor to move this legislation forward this session.

Daniel A. Reed

Posted by MelissaNorr at May 12, 2009 10:32 PM
Posted to CRA | Policy