Clinton seeks to increase spending on systems R&D and IT security

Clinton seeks to increase spending on systems R&D and IT security

By Christopher J. Dorobek

GCN Staff

President Clinton used his State of the Union speech last month to call for a big boost in the government's spending on information technology R&D.

'We ought to keep in mind government-funded research brought supercomputers, the Internet and communications satellites into being,' Clinton said. The president had previously floated the proposal during an address at California Institute of Technology.

Clinton is also pushing his IT security spending proposals [GCN, Jan. 24, Page 1]. In a televised interview before the State of the Union address, Clinton said the country must recognize that cybersecurity guards against a serious threat.

'This is not in the headlines, but I think it is very, very important for the next 10 or 20 years,' Clinton said.

How Clinton would dole out R&D money
(in millions)
and Human

The president said federal efforts to im-prove systems security could be one of his legacies.

The administration will ask Congress to increase spending on systems R&D by 36 percent in fiscal 2001 to $605 million.

The administration requested an increase of $366 million last year; Congress approved an increase of $265 million.

The funds will go for R&D and will not be used for agency IT shops, said Kay Howell, director of the National Coordination Office for Computers, Information and Communications in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. The funds, however, would benefit agencies in coming years, Howell said.

The Defense and Energy departments, NASA and the National Science Foundation are among the agencies that would receive the funding and funnel some of it to universities for research activities, she said.

R&D areas cover a range of technologies. They include broadband optical networks, which Defense researchers have shown can provide network backbone speeds that are 1,000 times faster than current speeds.

Energy has developed a prototype chip for devices such as cellular phones that can encrypt data at 6.7 Gbps.

Some of the money will also be used to advance technology education with the goal of expanding the IT work force.

Under the proposal, NSF, for example, would inaugurate Centers for Teaching and Learning. And funds would be used to help attract more students into science and engineering.


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