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[] Bills aim at cyber R&D,
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Bills aim at cyber R&D

 BY Diane Frank
 Dec. 5, 2001

 Members of the House Science Committee introduced two bills Dec. 4
aimed at increasing funding and
 attention for cybersecurity and information technology research and

 The Cyber Security Research and Development Act, introduced by the
committee chairman, Rep.
 Sherwood Boehlert (R-N.Y.), addresses many of the security challenges
government faces. Those
 challenges include the lack of far-reaching security research; too few
university students focused on
 information security; and the lack of coordination among the federal
agencies, academic institutions and

 The act creates several research and grants programs at the National
Science Foundation and the National
 Institute of Standards and Technology, two agencies long involved in
security research and partnering with
 the private sector. Funding authorized by the act for these programs
totals almost $880 million across five years and includes:

 * $233 million for a grants program at NSF for innovative research on
basic cybersecurity issues.

 * $90 million to establish a competitive grants program through NSF for
universities and colleges to provide fellowships, research
 opportunities and other education to students pursuing doctoral degrees
in cybersecurity.

 * $275 million for a grant program at NIST for high-risk, cutting-edge
research by academic researchers working with industry.

 * $32 million to NIST for an in-house research program in

 "Currently, there are too few scientists and engineers engaged in
research on information security and too little funding for security
 research," Rep. Ralph Hall (D-Texas), ranking member on the committee
and co-sponsor of the bill, said at the press conference where
 the committee released the two bills. "And as federal agencies and
private industry have found, there are too few people with specialized
 computer security skills."

 The Networking and Information Technology Research Advancement Act,
sponsored by Rep. Nick Smith (R-Mich.), chairman of the
 committee's Research Subcommittee, increases the funding for IT
research and development at NSF, NIST, NASA, the Energy
 Department, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the
Environmental Protection Agency. The act authorizes almost
 $7 billion across five years for programs at those agencies.

 To support this increase in funding, the act authorizes the agencies'
continued participation in the Networking and Information
 Technology Research and Development Program run by the White House's
Office of Science and Technology Policy. The program
 coordinates interagency research in areas including high-end computing,
software design and productivity, high-confidence software and
 systems, and human/computer interaction and information management.

 "Although the private sector provides the lion's share of the research
funding, its spending tends to focus on short-term, applied
 research," Smith said. "The federal government, therefore, has a
critical role to play in supporting the long-term, basic research that
 private sector requires but is ill-suited to pursue."

 The act also updates the High Performance Computing Act of 1991 to
emphasize the importance of cybersecurity research, and directs
 the National Academy of Sciences to provide two studies. The first
study will compare the state of IT and engineering research in the
 United States with that of other countries, and the second will study
how to strengthen the IT workforce.


Olivier Minkwitz___________________________________________
Dipl. Pol., wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter
HSFK Hessische Stiftung für Friedens- und Konfliktforschung
PRIF Peace Research Institute Frankfurt
Leimenrode 29 60322 Frankfurt a/M Germany
Tel +49 (0)69 9591 0422  Fax +49 (0)69 5584 81
Mobil   0172  3196 006
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