revolution? Industrial laboratories must aggressively pursue new partnerships with the academic and national laboratory communities to promote critical, pre-competitive research that will lay the basis for future IT technologies (see Chapter 9 and the concluding recommendation). The Nanoelectronics Research Initiative, a consortium of microelectronics companies and state and federal agencies funding university research, is one possible example for the future. Universities and national laboratories can lower barriers to the creation of innovative start-up companies. Such companies can offer uniquely flexible environments for the creative development of new products aimed at new IT markets. The national laboratories can expand their tradition of stewardship of major characterization facilities for the research community at large. The scientific sophistication and technical complexity of new projects requires staffing, planning, and investment at a higher level than in prior eras. Such powerhouse teams of researchers will be capable of flexibly configuring into large interdisciplinary working groups to pursue scientific challenges in information technology, helping maintain U.S. leadership in this key industry.
To scientists, it is exhilarating to explore new materials and physical processes with the hope of extending for future generations the benefits of the IT revolution that scientists and the public alike have had the good fortune to experience in their lifetimes. The case for strong investments in CMMP information technology research is compelling.