Big data and cyber-physical systems could become federal priorities
Legislation set for consideration on the floor of the House this week would make big data and "cyber-physical" systems priorities of federal networking and information technology research funding.
The proposal, the Advancing America's Networking and Information Technology Research and Development Act (H.R. 3834), is one of four House leadership says will come to the floor as part of "cyber week," a push to approve information technology-related bills. It was approved Feb. 7 by the House Science, Space, and Technology at the behest of its primary sponsor, committee chairman Ralph Hall (R-Texas).
The bill would modify an existing advanced IT cross-agency funding program known as NITRD by stipulating that it should provide for research and development on visualization, big data and human-computer interactions. The program would also have to fund scientific research on cyber-physical systems, which the bill defines as systems whose IT and physical elements "are deeply integrated and are actively connected to the physical world through sensors, actuators, or other means to perform monitoring and control functions."
Cloud computing also gets a mention, since the NITRD national coordination office would have to convene an interagency working group to study research required to enhance the effectiveness of cloud computing, increase its trustworthiness, as well as the potential for cloud computing in federally-funded research efforts.
This would be the third attempt at passing a NITRD bill in the last few years. The House approved in 2009 a highly-similar version (minus the language on cloud computing) that was sponsored by then House Science Chairman Bart Gordon (D-Tenn.). Gordon's bill was in 2010 included in the House version of the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act, but due to Senate objections, it was removed from the final bill.
The Congressional Budget Office estimates that it would cost about $2 million to enact the bill through fiscal 2017.
- go to the THOMAS page for the bill
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