the resources needed to fuel U.S. IT innovation, to mitigate unintended negative consequences from laws and regulations, and to continue to be a nation of lead innovators and users of IT.

The findings and recommendations of the committee presented in the sections below are organized according to four broad objectives. The numbering of the objectives and the related numbering of the findings and recommendations reflect the logical flow of the arguments, not necessarily temporal or other priorities. The objectives are as follows:

  • Objective 1. Strengthen the effectiveness and impact of federally funded information technology research.

  • Objective 2. Remain the strongest generator of and magnet for technical talent.

  • Objective 3. Reduce friction that harms the effectiveness of the U.S. information technology R&D ecosystem, while maintaining other important political and economic objectives.

  • Objective 4. Ensure that the United States has an infrastructure for communications, computing, applications, and services that can enable U.S. information technology users and innovators to lead the world.


Advances in information technology have transformed our lives, powered our economy, and changed the conduct of science and engineering (see Chapter 2). The field of IT is relatively nascent, however, and even greater opportunities lie ahead—provided that IT research is adequately funded. The federal government plays a key role in this regard (see Chapter 4).

The importance of federal investment in scientific research was underscored emphatically in a recent report of the National Academies, Rising Above the Gathering Storm: Energizing and Employing America for a Brighter Economic Future,2 which was followed by the administration’s American Competitiveness Initiative and passage of the America COMPETES Act of 2007.3

A strong case has also been made over the years for investment in IT in particular. A 1995 report of the National Research Council’s (NRC’s)


National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and Institute of Medicine, Rising Above the Gathering Storm: Energizing and Employing America for a Brighter Economic Future, The National Academies Press, Washington, D.C., 2007.


The America Creating Opportunities to Meaningfully Promote Excellence in Technology, Education, and Science Act (America COMPETES Act) became Public Law 110-69 on August 9, 2007.

The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement