Washington, D.C. — The Subcommittee on Research today held its first hearing of the 113th Congress to highlight the practical applications and benefits of the Networking and Information Technology Research and Development (NITRD) program and its significance to U.S. competitiveness.

Subcommittee Chairman Larry Bucshon (R-Ind.): “Research and development in networking and information technology (NIT) provides a greater understanding of how to protect essential systems and networks that support fundamental sectors of our economy, from emergency communications and power grids to air-traffic control networks and national defense systems. 

“As technology rapidly advances, the need for NIT research and development continues to evolve. NITRD works to prevent duplicative and overlapping R&D efforts, thereby enabling more efficient use of brainpower and resources, while remaining good stewards of taxpayer’s money.”

The NITRD program was originally authorized in 1991 in the High Performance and Computing Act.  It coordinates the networking and information R&D efforts of 15 federal member agencies, including DHS, NASA, NIH, EPA and the Department of Energy.  The program is the main R&D investment portfolio of member agencies in networking, computing, software, cybersecurity and related information technologies, totaling over $3.7 billion in 2013.

Witnesses today discussed their perspectives on how NITRD applies to the quality of Americans’ everyday lives.

The following witnesses testified:

Dr. Kelly Gaither, Director, Visualization Lab, Texas Advanced Computing Center, University of Texas, Austin

Dr. Kathryn McKinley, Principal Researcher, Microsoft

Dr. Ed Lazowska, Bill and Melinda Gates Chair in Computer Science and Engineering, University of Washington