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Measuring and Sustaining the New Economy: Report of a Workshop (2002)

Chapter: Panel III: Communications and Software

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Suggested Citation:"Panel III: Communications and Software." National Research Council. 2002. Measuring and Sustaining the New Economy: Report of a Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10282.
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Panel 3
Communications and Software

INTRODUCTION

Moderator: Robert Borchers

National Science Foundation

Dr. Borchers mentioned that a number of studies by the National Academies in the last few years, notably the Brooks and Sutherland report,17 had made a credible linkage between fundamental research in information technology and the economy. The study’s famous “tire tracks” diagram18 demonstrated a causal linkage between fundamental university-based research and significant segments of the economy. The President’s Information Technology Advisory Committee, commonly called PITAC, translated that theme19 into both public policy and the budget. They succeeded in allocating funding to an information technology research program to support fundamental research in universities. The goal of the program is to drive economic growth in information technology.

So far, said Dr. Borchers, the program has been successful. Last year it received several hundred million dollars in new money for information technology research and this year the amount may be larger. PITAC chose half a dozen topics,

17  

F.P. Brooks and I. E. Sutherland. 1995. Evolving the High Performance Computing and Communications Initiative to Support the Nation’s Information Infrastructure. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press.

18  

See Brooks and Sutherland, op. cit. p. 2, Figure E51 which illustrates that government-sponsored computing research stimulates the creation of innovative ideas and industries.

19  

See PITAC—Report to President, Information Technology Research: Investing in Our Future, at <http://www.ccic.gov/ac/report/>.

Suggested Citation:"Panel III: Communications and Software." National Research Council. 2002. Measuring and Sustaining the New Economy: Report of a Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10282.
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Sustaining the New Economy will require public policies that remain relevant to the rapid technological changes that characterize it. While data and its timely analysis are key to effective policy-making, we do not yet have adequate statistical images capturing changes in productivity and growth brought about by the information technology revolution. This report on a STEP workshop highlights the need for more information and the challenges faced in measuring the New Economy and sustaining its growth.

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