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Recent Highlights of the NITRD Program

April 23, 2018

Under the current Administration, the NITRD Program has enhanced Federal R&D and community engagement across NITRD’s broad portfolio of information technology R&D through interagency reports, community presentations, information portals, and expert convenings. Here are highlights of recent NITRD accomplishments:

  • Simulation and Machine Learning in Robotics Workshop: In April 2018, IRAS IWG members coordinated this workshop to bring together experts from the robotics and modeling and simulation (M&S) communities to identify opportunities, challenges, and “next steps” for increasing the role and impact that M&S will play in the future of smart robotics.

  • Big Data and Security Panel: In December 2017, members of the Cyber Security and Information Assurance Interagency Working Group presented the panel Big Data for Security - Can We Improve Security and Preserve Privacy? at the annual Computer Security Applications Conference. They discussed Federal research to advance use of big data analytics for security and use of privacy-preserving technologies, including attempts to reconcile conflicting objectives.

  • High-Performance Computing and Big Data Panel: In November 2017, members of the High End Computing (HEC) and Big Data Interagency Working Groups hosted the panel Blurring the Lines: High-End Computing and Data Science at Supercomputing 2017 (SC17). The panel examined the challenges and opportunities at the intersection of HEC and data science as on-demand and real-time data-intensive computing needs push the boundaries of computing, resulting in convergence of traditional HEC and newer cloud computing environments.

  • Federal Research and Engineering (R&E) Networks Open Meeting. In November 2017, the Large Scale Networking Joint Engineering Team (JET) hosted an interactive, open meeting at Supercomputing 2017 (SC17) that provided the opportunity for updates by representatives for Federal R&E networks, academic and international R&E networks and exchanges, and Internet2 partners. These updates support JET's efforts to coordinate, both nationally and internationally, on high-performance research and networking R&D to support data-intensive science applications.

  • Grid Computing Challenges and Solutions Open Meeting: In November 2017, the Large Scale Networking Middleware And Grid Interagency Coordination Team hosted this interactive meeting at Supercomputing 2017 (SC17) and led discussions on the current status, challenges, and future directions of Identity Management models and organizations (domestic and international), to better enable the reliable and secure performance of distributed computational science.

  • NITRD Supplement to the President's FY2018 Budget: In October 2017, the NITRD Subcommittee submitted the FY2018 NITRD Budget Supplement to Congress. The FY2018 NITRD Supplement to the President’s Budget provides a summary of information technology (IT) research and development (R&D) activities planned by Federal agencies and coordinated through NITRD in FY2018, to increase Congressional and public awareness of NITRD efforts to coordinate and support strategic, efficient, and effective Federal IT R&D. The Supplement also includes the FY2018 update of the Federal Cybersecurity R&D Strategic Plan Implementation Roadmap and the FY2016 accomplishments of the National Strategic Computing Initiative.

  • Frontiers of Visualization II, Data Wrangling Workshop: In October 2017, the Big Data (BD) IWG’s Human-Computer Interaction and Information Management Task Force held a web-based workshop on “data wrangling” (cleaning and preparation) following the group’s first Frontiers of Data Visualization workshop in 2014. The 2017 workshop featured presentations by guest experts JoAnn Kuchera-Morin of University of California, San Diego (UCSD), who presented her work on data visualization at the UCSD Allosphere, and Kelly Gaither of University of Texas, Austin, who stressed the importance to data wrangling and visualization and the reliable mining and usability of big data. A BD panel and workshop participants discussed the issues the speakers raised, extending their shared understanding of best practices and common elements that can help build a science of visualization.

  • Open Knowledge Network (OKN) Workshop: In October 2017, the Big Data IWG organized the third OKN workshop, Enabling the Community to Build the Network. The workshop series examines how OKN-related projects at Federal agencies can maximize collaborations with private-sector efforts, and what steps are needed to build an effective, open knowledge community. The OKN is meant to be a trustworthy, inclusive community knowledge infrastructure that facilitates and empowers myriad data applications and opens new avenues of research.

  • Presentation Library: In October 2017, NITRD established an online presentation library for briefings, presentations, reports, and webinars provided at NITRD Interagency Working Group meetings, workshops, and public events by a broad range of government, academia, and private-sector presenters (with permission). Recent topics have included the impact of virtualization and containerization technologies and services upon computing ecosystems; digital trust models for improving the cybersecurity of critical infrastructure; challenges and opportunities at the intersection of high-end computing and data science; enabling the Open Knowledge Network (including knowledge networks for biomedicine, finance, and manufacturing); innovation needs for radio receiver systems; developments in high-quality, metric-based service level agreements (SLAs) for cloud computing; and high-performance, large-scale science data streaming. As of April 2018, the library held over 700 presentations.

  • Operationalizing Software-Defined Networking (SDN) Workshop: In September 2017, the Large Scale Networking IWG organized this workshop (a sequel to two previous workshops held in 2013 and 2015), to facilitate an ongoing, objective, and constructive dialogue between the academic, industry, and open-source-software communities, and government agencies to discuss the current state of SDN, next milestones, forward pathways, and strategies for realizing an open, innovative, multidomain, and interoperable SDN as an operational infrastructure for the Nation.

  • Federal Smart Cities and Communities Task Force Panel: In August 2017, NITRD's Smart Cities and Communities (SCC) Task Force (TF) presented at the Global City Teams Challenge (GCTC) Expo; this annual meeting showcases U.S. and international partnerships among communities, academia, industry, and government to promote beneficial, effective, and secure smart city/community projects. The SCC TF also coordinated a Federal agency SCC Leadership Working Forum adjacent to the GCTC Expo, and SCC member agencies helped to facilitate formation of a new Agriculture and Rural supercluster at the 2017 GCTC Expo to work on projects in smart agriculture, white space pilots, and telemedicine, among other areas.

  • Privacy Panel: In May 2017, members of the Privacy R&D IWG led panel discussions on "Research Directions for Federal Privacy R&D" at the 38th IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy about research problems that should be tackled to achieve the objectives outlined in the National Privacy Research Strategy.

  • Draft Health IT R&D Strategic Framework: In May 2017, the Health Information Technology R&D (HITRD) IWG published a draft Federal Health Information Technology Research and Development Strategic Framework in the Federal Register for public feedback. The framework aims to help Federal agencies optimize R&D programs as well as coordination and cooperation to improve American health outcomes throughout life through advanced use of health data and information technology. Expected advanced health IT applications include those for screening, diagnosis, treatment, and surveillance; reduction of preventable medical errors; disease prevention; self-management of health behavior and wellness; accessibility of healthcare; and disaster and emergency response to support improved individual and community health outcomes.

  • Radio Receiver Systems: R&D Innovation Needs and Impacts on Technology and Policy Workshop: In May 2017, the Wireless Spectrum R&D IWG held this workshop where Federal, industry, and academic stakeholders discussed the needs for innovation in Radio Receiver Systems. Topics focused on how to significantly improve the ability of radio receiver systems to accept wanted signals and reject unwanted signals to advance the quality of the information transmitted—including for critical applications in areas such as healthcare and the Internet of Things—as well as how to overcome barriers to adoption of next-generation systems.

  • Federal Smart Cities and Communities Programs Resource Guide: In March 2017, NITRD released this guide, prepared by the NITRD Smart Cities and Communities (SCC) Task Force (TF). It describes Federally funded R&D investments and programs that seek to develop and embed innovative digital technologies into city/community infrastructure, systems, and services. The Federal resources listed in the guide are focused on meeting the specific needs of diverse communities across the Nation and on facilitating information-sharing, collaboration, and coordination among SCC TF member agencies, academia, industry, local cities and communities, and other government entities.

  • Measuring the Impact of Digital Repositories Workshop: In February/March 2017, the Big Data IWG held this workshop with the goals of comparing the current metrics, tools, and practices used to assess and communicate the impact of digital data repositories, and identifying the existing gaps where further research is needed. This is a critical topic for the management of burgeoning amounts of data at agencies and for supporting innovation.

  • Broadband Research and Development (BRD) Group: In February 2017, the NITRD Subcommittee authorized formation of the BRD Group to define and prioritize research proposals and data collection and sharing requirements in the four key areas described in the National Broadband Research Agenda (NBRA): technology, deployment, adoption, and socioeconomic impacts. Efforts of the BRD Group aim to boost cross-agency and cross-sector collaboration in continuing the dynamic growth in the U.S. Information and Communications Technology sector and in addressing persisting disparities in broadband access, adoption, and choice across the Nation.

Previous Highlights of the NITRD Program


To learn more about the NITRD Program please visit About the NITRD Program page.