Dr. Joseph Bordogna
Chief Operating Officer
National Science Foundation
ITR Grantee Meeting
Crystal City, VA
June 10, 2004
Thank you, Suzi and good morning to everyone. I am pleased to welcome all
of you to the first ITR Grantee Meeting.
By all accounts, this promises to be an exciting and informative
gathering, where we can all learn from the experiences of information
technology research across the frontier of science and engineering.
Indeed, reading through all the titles of the ITR awards reveals
both a robust disciplinary coverage across that frontier along
with an in-depth reach into many disciplinary interfaces. It is
there where the value of an NSF priority area sees its greatest
impact, linking boundaries and creatively transforming disciplines.
This exciting outcome meets the responsibility owed the commonweal
for its investment in your work.
Society has long held great expectations for science and engineering.
From our earliest origins, human and social dynamics have shaped
our technologies just as our technologies have shaped our lives
and our societies. Today the expectations are heightened.
The historic expectations for the National Science Foundation
were articulated by the renowned engineer, Vannevar Bush, in a
letter to President Truman date July 5, 1945. This was five years
before NSF came into being and formed the core of Professor Bush's
seminal work, "The Endless Frontier," the document most
responsible for NSF's birth.
"The pioneer spirit," Bush wrote, "is still vigorous
within this Nation. Science offers a large unexplored hinterland
for the pioneer who has the tool for his task. The rewards for
such exploration both for the nation and the individual are great.
Scientific progress is one essential key to our security as a nation,
to our better health, to more jobs, to a higher standard of living,
and to our cultural progress."
Bush's manifesto was a tall order, and almost six decades later,
these expectations still hold true. Today, however, the global
economic environment and the increasing power of eclecticism of
our research and education tools, lends further urgency to what
we must and can do to meet those expectations. In the contemporary
view of the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Engineering
(PCAST), Bush's "Endless Frontier" is ever more relevant
as a focus for continuously enriching the nation’s dynamic "innovation
ecosystem." The yield from investment in this system are the
talent, techniques, tools, and discoveries to enable technological
Assuring our future requires a continually enriched knowledge
base and a workforce so trained and capable, so agile and up to
date, that it thrives on the continuous technological and fast
paced progress that are an absolute certainty in coming years.
Today's knowledge-based society places a premium on creativity,
innovation, and ensuring that the whole is greater than the sum
of the parts – a veritable fever of curiosity and realizing
ideas that explode old paradigms with astonishing insights.
The National Science Foundation believes that these characteristics
are vital to the nation's Science & Engineering enterprise
and, in fact, to the overall future of the nation. Our vision statement
reflects this: "Enabling the nation’s future through
discovery, learning, and innovation."
Discovery, learning and innovation are about the future. They
are powerful forces for progress. To continually cross boundaries,
explore as yet unimagined territory, and find fresh paths to a
better future requires daring, boldness, linking, and a taste for
adventure. These are risky undertakings, so we need courage, grit
and determination to see us through.
I see all of this in your individual and team work and I sense
that this grantee meeting will add an even more integrated dimension
to your efforts.
As a direct response to the President's Information Technology
Advisory Committee's (PITAC) Report of 1999, NSF's ITR Priority
Area investment has been a catalyst for stimulating risky, innovative,
high-return research and education, serving as a vital step in
enabling the flow of new ideas and in training the next generation
of researchers and educators. NSF is proud to have played a leading
role in answering the charge of the 1999 PITAC Report.
To quote that PITAC report, "We have an essential national
interest in ensuring continued flowed of good new ideas and trained
professionals in information technology."
We will continue to look to you for the innovative ideas that
will influence information technology, now and in the future. Know
that your contributions and your vision continue to serve the nation’s
advancement and competitiveness. We all thank you.
Return to a list of Dr. Bordogna's speeches.