Washington, D.C. – The Science, Space, and Technology Committee today approved the Networking and Information Technology Research and Development (NITRD) Modernization Act of 2016, sponsored by Rep. Darin LaHood (R-Ill.). The NITRD Program was originally authorized by the High Performance Computing Act of 1991. It is the federal government’s primary research portfolio on transformative high-end computing, high-speed networking, high capacity systems software, cybersecurity, and related advanced information technologies.

Chairman Smith (R-Texas): “In this digital age, it is critically important to protect our nation’s computer networking systems. This bill provides the coordinated R&D efforts necessary to improve cyber and data security nationwide. Better network security promotes U.S. competitiveness, enhances national security and creates high-tech jobs.”

This legislation encourages agencies to focus on research to better detect, prevent and recover from actions that compromise or threaten computer-based systems.  In addition, this bill improves interagency coordination and rebalances research portfolios to focus on large-scale, long-term interdisciplinary projects.

Rep. Darin LaHood (R-Ill.): “As technology rapidly advances, the need for research and development continues to evolve. NITRD works to prevent duplicative and overlapping R&D efforts, thereby enabling more efficient use of government resources and taxpayer dollars, while also supporting new and innovative research and development efforts at our nation’s universities and through public-private partnerships.”

In October, the Science Committee held a hearing on the current state of the NITRD program. At the hearing, witnesses provided recommendations for how to improve and more tightly focus this $4.5 billion annual initiative. The Networking and Information Technology Research and Development (NITRD) Modernization Act of 2016 updates and clarifies legislation from last Congress to reflect these recommendations.