CRA commends the House for its swift passage today of the High Performance Computing Revitalization Act (H.R. 28). The bill, which would provide sustained access by the research community to federal HPC assets, assure a balanced portfolio in HPC research pursuits and beef up interagency planning, passed by voice vote. The measure now moves on to the Senate, where previous efforts to reauthorize portions of the Networking and Information Technology R&D program have failed to receive timely consideration.
Here’s our previous coverage of the bill, which has a bit more detail.
CRA and USACM joined in issuing a press release applauding the bill’s authors and the members of the House for moving the legislation. A copy of that release can be found after the jump.
The House Science Committee’s press release has further (positive) reaction from Chair Sherwood Boehlert.
“This is very important legislation that deals with the competitiveness of the United States of America in the global marketplace. We are not going to be preeminent in the competitive world if we don’t invest wisely and direct our resources in the proper way, because the competition is all over the place. It isn’t one state against another. It’s the United States against the world. Right now, we’re ahead. That’s the position I like. But when we look back, we see a lot of people following closely behind. That’s why it’s critically important that we do things like invest in high-performance computing so that we maintain our competitive edge.”
CRA Press Release
CRA Director of Government Affairs
P: 202-234-2111 ext 106
ACM Director of Public Policy
Computing Researchers, Professionals Applaud Passage of High Performance Computing Legislation
WASHINGTON, DC, April 26, 2005 – Two leading computing societies today praised the House of Representatives for approving a measure that would authorize efforts in high-performance computing research and development. The Computing Research Association and the Association for Computing Machinery’s U.S. Public Policy Committee commended the passage of the High Performance Computing Revitalization Act (H.R. 28), which demonstrates the continued importance of federal investment in computing research and development.
Innovations in IT – the fruits of computing research, including high performance computing research – continue to drive U.S. productivity and enable the new economy, said CRA Chairman James D. Foley. The House today sent an important message that a sustained commitment to U.S. leadership in computing research is a prerequisite to future innovation and competitiveness.
We commend Rep. Judy Biggert (R-IL), and Rep. Lincoln Davis (D-TN) for introducing the bill, as well as Science Committee Chairman Sherwood Boehlert (R-NY), Ranking Member Bart Gordon (D-TN) and the other co-sponsors for their continued leadership in making the case for federal support of fundamental IT research and development.
The bill comes at an important time for the computing research community, Foley said. Recent changes to the landscape for federal support of computing – most notably, the shift away from support of fundamental IT R&D at universities by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency – have left gaps in the federal portfolio that threaten to constrain future innovation in IT. The passage of the HPC Revitalization Act, as well as a planned May 12, 2005, hearing of the House Science Committee on the issue, demonstrates that Congress is sensitive to these concerns and to the important role federal support plays in the innovation process.
Eugene H. Spafford, Chair of USACM and a member of the President’s Information Technology Advisory Committee, also lauded the action. “IT R&D — and especially investment in basic research and infrastructure — is an investment that pays enormous dividends,” said Spafford. “It fuels innovation that will help the U.S. retain world leadership in business, develop new jobs and industries, enhance public safety and national defense, and provide means to support research to live longer, healthier lives.”
Spafford continued, “Investing in basic research may not often show immediate results, and is thus a difficult choice to make in times of strained budgets. However, history has proven, time and again, that a significant investment strategy in scientific research — and especially in computing-related research — pays huge dividends in the future. Fundamental breakthroughs cannot be discovered and matured for the market in a short time scale.”
We commend the House for its quick passage of the HPC Revitalization Act, and encourage the Senate to take up and pass similar legislation soon, Foley said.
The Computing Research Association (CRA) is an association of more than 200 North American Academic departments of computer science, computer engineering, and related fields; laboratories and centers in industry, government and academia engaging in basic computing research; and affiliated professional societies. For more information: http://www.cra.org
USACM is the U.S. Public Policy Committee of the Association for Computing Machinery, which is the world’s first educational and scientific computing society with almost 80,000 members worldwide. It is widely recognized as the premier organization for computing professionals, delivering resources that advance the computing and IT disciplines, enable professional development, and promote policies and research that benefit society.