Feb 23, 2009

CRA Praised U.S. Congress for Strong Investments in Science, Innovation

In U.S., the House Democratic leadership released an official stimulus summary on January 15 and it looks great for researchers including HPC. However, the numbers in the Senate version on January 26 were not as generous as the House numbers. It looked quite difficult to expect conclusion because some of the significant differences between the two versions -- including significant differences in how the science investments in the bill are handled according to the policy blog of Computing Research Association (CRA) that is an association of more than 200 North American academic departments of computer science, computer engineering, and related fields; laboratories and centers in industry, government, and academia engaging in basic computing research; and affiliated professional societies.

CRA policy blog on February 13 showed happy message “Computing Researchers Applaud Congress for Strong Investments in Science, Innovation” since Congress passed an economic stimulus package that included substantial investments in the nation's science and engineering enterprise. It took effect on February 17, just in around one month from release of the official stimulus summary by House.

In the meantime, Japanese government budget draft for FY2009 includes some of investments for Japanese strengthening of science and technology and the draft with related bills can probably pass the Lower House before March after a long struggle according to some newspaper. Hence I have to recall still unchanged difference in speed of policy decision making between U.S. and Japan while I like to share such good news in U.S.

Anyway, the conference agreement for the American Economic Recovery and Reinvestment Act includes investment more than $15 Billion in Scientific Research: $3 billion for the National Science Foundation, $1.6 billion for the Department of Energy’s Office of Science, $400 million for the Advanced Research Project Agency-Energy (ARPA-E), $580 million for the National Institute of Standards and Technology, and $8.5 billion for NIH!, etc. and many of HPC people in U.S. must be very happy.

This stimulus money will be invested besides the U.S. FY2009 budget for October 2008 to September 2009. Such huge and strong boost, maybe, will create very ambitious projects like mushrooms!?

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