Sites and Affiliations
Research and Applications
Major Accomplishments
Frequently Asked Questions
Knowledge and Technology Transfer
Education and Outreach
Media Resources
Technical Reports and Publications
Parallel Computing Research - Our Quarterly Newsletter
Contact Information
CRPC Home Page

UniGuide Featured Site

PITAC Report Calls for Major Increase in R&D Funding; President Clinton Supports

Concluding that federal support for information technology research and development is "dangerously inadequate", the President's Information Technology Advisory Committee (PITAC) released its "Interim Report to the President" earlier this month. The goal of the PITAC report is to set priorities and initial parameters needed to guide the nation's research and development of information technology into the next century.

The PITAC report states that the federal government should invest more in "long-term, high-risk research" programs, and says that short-term, applied-research approaches have superceded the fundamental research strategies that led to the major breakthroughs resulting in our current information technology boom. The PITAC report recommends:

  • That the National Science Foundation should be named the lead agency for coordinating federal information technology research. An increase in funding for research and development in scalability of information infrastructure, including rapid expansion of the Next Generation Internet (NGI) testbeds.
  • Increases in funding for fundamental research in software development.
  • Funding increases for high-end computing research, with a goal of "attaining a sustained petaop performance on real applications by 2010."
  • Research on socio-economic and workforce impacts of information technology by promoting government-industry-university partnerships designed to increase information technology literacy and research capabilities.
  • Full participation in IT research - through access to high bandwidth connectivity opportunities -- for universities and research institutions that traditionally have been underrepresented in research partnerships, "including institutions in EPSCoR states, small institutions, predominantly ethnic institutions, and those in geographically dispersed locations".

The PITAC report also calls for the creation of two types of information technology centers. "Enabling Technology Centers" would create and apply new information technologies with the goal of solving particular problems that are important to the country. "Expeditions into the 21st Century" would be more visionary, comprised of multiple teams of researchers focusing on future information technologies and their impact on society by "living in the future".

President Clinton in a recent commencement address at MIT put some flesh on the PITAC recommendations, stating that he intends to push for a major increase in IT R&D funding.