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NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION WASH I NGTON. D C. 20550 February 1 1, 1 937 OFFICE OF THE DIRECTOR Dr. Frank Press President National Academy of Sciences 2101 Constitution Avenue, N.W. Washington, D. C. 20418 Dear Frank: The National Science Foundation intends to issue later in the year a solicitation to implement the Science and Technology Centers presidential initiative. Just as the National Academy of Engineering played a pivotal role in shaping the approach NSF used to establish and admin- ister the Engineering Research Centers, a similar contribution can be made by the National Academy of Sciences with regard to this initiative. I would be most grateful if under your auspices such an effort could be undertaken. I would suggest that the National Academy of Sciences assemble an ad hoc policy group consisting of a broad representation of its members to address the following issues: a) What is the group's view of the most promising areas of science where these centers can make a significant difference? b) What are the the defining characteristics of science and technology centers and how do these characteristics relate to economic competitivenes? c) Since industry and state participation is a prerequi- site, what form should this participation take and how is it best utilized? d) What support is required and over what period of time? e) Governance of the centers. f) The centers' contribution to education, including precollege, undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate education. g) Monitoring mechanisms and sunset rules. h) Ground rules for the solicitation. Timeliness of the study is important. I would hope that the ad hoc group can be assembled soon, with a report available by June 1, 1987, so that its conclusions can be folded into the NSB strategic plan review later that month. Sincerely, sit, ' ~ Erich Bloch Director

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