(This post has been updated; please scroll below for the latest!)
Since the dawn of the digital age, fundamental research sponsored by the Federal government has supported U.S. leadership in information technology — from the first supercomputers, to the foundations of high-speed networking, to global positioning systems and wireless technologies. Much of the progress in the last 20 years has been enabled by the Federal Networking and Information Technology Research and Development (NITRD) Program, the oldest and largest of a small number of formal Federal programs that engage multiple agencies.
This Thursday, the Computing Community Consortium (CCC), working with the National Coordination Office (NCO) for NITRD, will mark two decades of the NITRD Program at a daylong Symposium to be held at the Newseum in Washington, DC. The Symposium — titled “The Impact of NITRD: Two Decades of Game-Changing Breakthroughs in Networking and Information Technology — Expanding Possibilities Ahead” — will explore how we are “transforming the world, driving the nation’s competitiveness, and leading into the future.” The meeting will be streamed live via the web (no pre-registration necessary).
Required by the High-Performance Computing Act of 1991, the Next Generation Internet Research Act of 1998, and the America COMPETES Act of 2007, the NITRD Program provides a framework and mechanisms for coordination about 15 Federal agencies that support networking and information technology research and development. Under this umbrella, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Department of Defense (DoD) Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) and DoD service research organizations (Air Force, Army, and Navy), Department of Energy (DoE) National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), DoE Office of Science (SC), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC), National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), National Security Agency (NSA), and National Science Foundation (NSF) have sponsored the fundamental networking and information technology research that has changed the world over the last 20 years.
The daylong program will be “semi-technical,” describing accomplishments and prospects in areas such as information technology and the lives of citizens, building blocks of information technology, information technology interfacing to the physical world, information technology and the advancement of science, and the world of massive data — in a way that is accessible to a broad audience. Many luminaries from our community will deliver short talks. A key theme throughout the program will be the essential role of this 20-year multi-agency research investment in driving our nation’s competitiveness and shaping the world in which we live.
For more details, including a detailed agenda, check out the Symposium website.
This is an exciting time for networking and information technology research and development in our nation, coming on the heels of a report by the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) a year ago. We hope you will make some time to check out the live webcast (no pre-registration required!) on Thursday.
And stay tuned — we will have comprehensive coverage right here on Thursday.
(Contributed by Erwin Gianchandani, CCC Director)