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President’s Technology Advisers Want $1B Ramp-up in IT Spending

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The President’s Council of Advisors for Science and Technology is calling for the government to ramp up spending on IT research and development to the tune of $1 billion.

But the council’s goal is not simply to continue throwing money into creating the fastest supercomputer, but to develop more innovative, forward-thinking IT.

A new PCAST report advises the administration to stop the “arms race” on developing ever-faster supercomputers in favor of innovative approaches on a variety of IT fronts: from cybersecurity to health IT, according to InformationWeek.

“It’s a common fallacy I think to over-estimate the importance of technology development and to underestimate the role that fundamental research plays,” in economic development, PCAST member and University of Washington professor Ed Lazowska told InformationWeek.

While the group wants IT funding increases, it also wouldn’t mind a little more accountability as well. The panel called for the Office of Management and Budget to play a more robust oversight role in making sure research and development is accurately accounted for in budget reporting.

Meanwhile, federal Chief Technology Officer Aneesh Chopra said a research-and-development dashboard website was in the works and could be ready by February. The site would collect data on R&D spending and budgeting.

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