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House Passes Bill to Strengthen Planning, Coordination of It R&d

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U.S. Representative Bart Gordon (D-TN)

U.S. Representative Bart Gordon

Tennessee Technological University

The U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 2020, the Networking and Information Technology Research and Development Act of 2009 by a voice vote on Tuesday (May 12).

"Our nearly 20-year investment in the NITRD program has helped create jobs across all sectors of our economy and contributed immeasurably to our economic and national security," said bill author and House Committee on Science and Technology Chairman Bart Gordon (D-TN). "Given how rapidly these fields evolve, a comprehensive look at the NITRD program by Congress is timely."

H.R. 2020 strengthens interagency planning, coordination, and prioritization for the NITRD program by requiring the development and periodic update of a strategic plan informed by both industry and academia. This plan is meant to create a vision for networking and information technology R&D across the federal government, and provide specific metrics for measuring progress toward that vision.

"To ensure that we make the most effective use of our resources and to remain a leader in these fields, it is critical that the agencies that comprise NITRD come together to develop common goals and well-defined strategies," said Gordon.

The bill also calls for increased support of large-scale, long-term, interdisciplinary research in networking and information technology that will help the U.S. tackle national challenges.

"These large-scale, long-term investments can provide substantial benefits to society such as improving the effectiveness and efficiency of our healthcare and energy delivery systems," added Gordon.

H.R. 2020 also promotes partnerships between the federal government, academia and industry to foster technology transfer. Additionally, it creates a task force to explore mechanisms for carrying out collaborative R&D activities in cyber-physical systems; formally establishes the National Coordination Office, which provides technical and administrative support to the program; and it ensures that the education of the future NIT workforce remains an important component of the program.

The legislation was endorsed by IBM; ACM (the Association for Computing Machinery); the Computing Research Association; IEEE-USA; and the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics




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