Committee on Science and Technology
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Legislative Highlights :: April 22, 2009

Networking and Information Technology Research and Development Act of 2009 (NITRD Act)

H.R. 2020

 Bill Summary and Status

Passed the House on May 12, 2009

Reported (as amended) by the Full Committee April 29, 2009

Introduced in the House on April 22, 2009

Section-by-Section

SEC. 1. SHORT TITLE.

“Networking and Information Technology Research and Development Act of 2009”.


SEC. 2. PROGRAM PLANNING AND COORDINATION.

Requires the NITRD agencies to periodically assess the program contents and funding levels and to update the program accordingly.

Requires the NITRD agencies to develop and periodically update (at 3 year intervals) a strategic plan for the program. The characteristics and content of the strategic plan are described, and include strengthening networking and information technology education, fostering technology transfer, and encouraging innovative, large-scale, and interdisciplinary research.

Encourages a more active role for the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) in ensuring that the strategic plan is developed and executed effectively and that the objectives of the program are met.

Ensures that the existing advisory committee for NITRD is closely linked to the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology while retaining the necessary breadth and depth of expertise in NIT fields.

Specifies that the annual report now required for the NITRD program explicitly describe how the program activities planned and underway relate to the objectives specified in the strategic plan.

Specifies that the annual report now required for the NITRD program include a description of research areas supported in accordance with section 3, including the same budget information as is required for the Program Component Areas.


SEC. 3. LARGE-SCALE RESEARCH IN AREAS OF NATIONAL IMPORTANCE.

Authorizes NITRD agencies to support large-scale, long-term, interdisciplinary research with the potential to make significant contributions to society and U.S. economic competitiveness and encourage collaboration between at least 2 agencies as well as cost-sharing from non-federal sources.

Characteristics of the projects supported include: collaborations among researchers in institutions of higher education and industry, and may involve nonprofit research institutions and federal laboratories; leveraging of federal investments through collaboration with related State initiatives, when possible; and plans for fostering technology transfer.

Authorizes support of activities under this section through interdisciplinary research centers that are organized to investigate basic research questions and carry out technology demonstration activities.


SEC. 4. CYBER-PHYSICAL SYSTEMS AND INFORMATION MANAGEMENT.

Requires the program to support research and development in cyber-physical systems, human-computer interactions, visualization, and information management.

Requires the National Coordination Office (NCO) Director to convene a university/industry task force to explore mechanisms for carrying out collaborative research and development activities for cyber-physical systems with participants from universities, federal laboratories, and industry. The NCO is to report to Congress on any findings and recommendations from the task force on models for collaborative R&D.


SEC. 5. NATIONAL COORDINATION OFFICE.

Formally establishes the NCO; delineates the office’s responsibilities; mandates annual operating budgets; specifies the source of funding for the office (consistent with current practice); and stresses the role of the NCO in developing the strategic plan and in public outreach and communication with outside communities of interest.
  

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