Today the National Science Foundation (NSF) announced the first grant recipients for a new $90-million program to spur fundamental research and innovative applications of information technology. Five Stanford projects were selected from more than 1,400 proposals.
"This initiative will help strengthen America's leadership in a sector that has accounted for one-third of U.S. economic growth in recent years," said President Bill Clinton. "High technology is generating jobs that pay 85 percent more than the average private-sector wage. I am pleased that the National Science Foundation is expanding its investment in long-term information technology research."
Information Technology Research (ITR) awards went to 62 large projects whose funding will average $1 million per year for three to five years, and 148 smaller projects funded up to $500,000 for as long as three years. Projects range from creating software, scalable information infrastructures and human-computer interfaces to managing information and studying social and economic implications of information technology. (For a complete list of ITR awards, see http://www.itr.nsf.gov/)
"These projects represent major innovations in information technology, rather than routine applications of existing technology," said NSF director Rita Colwell. "Our strategy to support long-term, high-risk research responds to a challenge from the President's Information Technology Advisory Committee, which called for increased federal investment to maintain the U.S. lead in this important sector of the global economy."
Jim Plummer, dean of Stanford's School of Engineering, said that "information technology is the basis of many new initiatives in the School of Engineering. These grants are tremendously helpful in strengthening our existing programs and helping us build these new initiatives."