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I2-TEAM  August 1999

I2-TEAM August 1999

Subject:

IT**2 Congressional appropriations for IT R&D (fwd)

From:

Steve Cavrak <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

UVM Internet2 Development Team <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Fri, 27 Aug 1999 16:10:37 -0400

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (121 lines)

Subject: Congressional appropriations for IT R&D
     Date: Thu, 26 Aug 1999 19:00:29 -0400
     From: Heather Boyles <[log in to unmask]>
       To: Multiple recipients of list <[log in to unmask]>

Internet2 Project participants -

This is a brief note to update you on the appropriations
activities in Washington concerning funding for R&D in
information technologies.  As always, we recommend
Educause's "Washington Update" (see
http://www.educause.edu) for more regular status reports
on these issues, but we felt this issue was important
enough to our collective interests in advancing network
technologies and applications as part of the Internet2
project to warrant a special note.

As many of you know, in addition to the continuing "Next
Generation Internet" initiative, the administration this
year proposed a significant increase in funding for
long-term, fundamental research in information
technology called, "IT Squared: Information Technology
for the 21st Century" (see http://www.ccic.gov)  New
funding for the program would total $366M in FY2000.

The initiative and its accompanying request for
increased funding were based on a report from the
President's Information Technology Advisory Committee
(PITAC) -- a distinguished body with many
representatives from our community -- that highlighted a
dearth of long-term, high-risk research funding in some
key IT areas.

Through the course of the spring the IT**2 initiative
(along with the continuing NGI initiative) received a
good deal of bipartisan support in Congress.  The
Republican House Science Committee Chairman, Mr.
Sensenbrenner (WI), introduced a bill that would
authorize appropriators to fund the IT**2 initiative for
a 5 year period and at a higher dollar figure than the
administration itself had proposed.

Unfortunately, this year's funding process for FY2000
has hit a major snag.
 In an effort to continue to contain federal spending,
Republican leaders in Congress have instructed the
appropriations committees to stick strictly to the
budget caps set. Many of these budget caps mean no
increase in funding is available for the agencies who
would be involved in the IT**2 initiative.  One of the
agencies most affected (with $146M of the $366M proposed
increase) is NSF.  NSF's overall budget is also in
danger of taking a hit this year, just as the agency has
been tasked by the IT**2 initiative  -- as recommended
by PITAC -- with taking the lead on funding R&D in
information technology.

So, despite bipartisan support for increased NSF (and
other agency) focus on information technology R&D, the
congressional appropriations committees thus far have
not provided funds for programs in FY2000.  Congress is
currently in recess.  FY2000 begins 1 October 1999 so we
can expect that upon Congress's return at the beginning
of September these appropriations issues will have to be
dealt with very quickly.  At this time both houses of
Congress will finalize and vote on appropriations bills.

The emphasis on long-term, fundamental research is
important to the Internet2 project community and its
goals and objectives.  Sixty percent of IT**2 funding is
intended to go to universities in order to support
important research in software engineering, scalable
information infrastructure, the provision of additional
high-performance computational resources as well as some
funding toward investigating the socio-economic impacts
of our work.  The NGI program has already provided
funding for such resources as the vBNS, university
connections to the vBNS and Abilene, a number of grants
to Internet2 participants from DoE in the area of
Quality of Service testbeds and more.

Neal Lane, Director of the Office of Science and
Technology Policy at the White House has released a
statement specifically regarding the impact of cuts in
IT R&D.  The statement can be found at:
http://www.whitehouse.gov/WH/EOP/OSTP/html/998_6.html

A number of organizations are gearing up to make sure
congressional appropriators understand the impact on
universities and the national R&D enterprise if these
cuts are not reversed. The Association of American
Universities (AAU) and the National Association of State
Universities and Land Grant Colleges (NASULGC) have sent
letters to congressional leaders about the dangers to
their universities' ability to continue research efforts
if the level of R&D funding is so drastically cut.

Educause is working on putting together additional
materials for any of you who may want to contact your
members of Congress about this issue.  You can get more
information on those materials by emailing:  Garret Sern
at [log in to unmask]

You may also be interested in a new part of the
Internet2 web site devoted to Internet2's relationship
with relevant federal government initiatives at:
http://www.internet2.edu/html/government.html

best regards,
heather


++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Heather Boyles
Director, Government and International Relations
Internet2
[log in to unmask]
office: 202.331.5342
mobile: 202.255.5581
www.internet2.edu

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