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Achievements of the National Plant Genome Initiative and New Horizons in Plant Biology
Charge to the Committee
Review the accomplishments of NPGI to date.
Assess the contribution of NPGI to science, research infrastructure, education of the next generation of scientists, and international research collaboration.
Discuss the broad impact of NPGI to fundamental advances in biological sciences.
Assess the contributions of NPGI to the application of scientific knowledge including technological innovation and economic competitiveness.
Recommend future research directions and objectives for NPGI.
recognition that research in plant genomics provides a foundation for rapid,fundamental, and novel insights into the means by which plants grow and reproduce, produce organs and tissues essential to human nutrition and energyproduction, adapt to different and sometimes stressful environments, and helpstabilize ecosystems. As NPGI approaches its 10th anniversary, the Interagency Working Group on Plant Genomes1 (IWG) asked the National Research Council (NRC) to convene a committee to assess the achievements of NPGI and recommend future research directions (Box S-1). To address the statement of task, the committee gathered information from IWG, from principal investigators who received research grants from NPGI, and from plant scientists from universities, government agencies, and industry through a workshop to solicit their evaluation of the achievements of NPGI in the last nine years and to discuss possible future directions of the program.
The assessment of NPGI comes at a vital period in the history of federally supported scientific research. Budgets are more or less flat or, in some cases, declining. Yet the needs for revolutionary breakthroughs and technological advancement are acute and international competition is increasing, so that a new vision for plant genome sciences over both the short and long term is necessary.
The Interagency Working Group on Plant Genomes (IWG) was established in May 1997 by the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) under the direction of the National Science and Technology Council’s Committee on Science, in recognition of the unprecedented scientific opportunities that plant genome research offered at that time. IWG membership currently includes the National Science Foundation, U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Department of Energy, National Institutes of Health, U.S. Agency for International Development, U.S. Forest Service, Office of Management and Budget, and OSTP.