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Infrastructure
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Science Infrastructure

There can be no doubt that a modern and effective research infrastructure is critical to maintaining U.S. leadership in S&E. New tools have opened vast research frontiers and fueled technological innovation in fields such as biotechnology, nanotechnology, and communications. The degree to which infrastructure is regarded as central to experimental research is indicated by the number of Nobel Prizes awarded for the development of new instrument technology.

Concepts of infrastructure are expanding to include distributed systems of hardware, software, information bases, and automated aids for data analysis and interpretation. Enabled by information technology, a qualitatively different and new S&E infrastructure has evolved, delivering greater computational power, increased access, distribution and shared use, and new research tools, such as data analysis and interpretation aids, web-accessible databases, archives, and collaboratories. Many viable research questions can be answered only through the use of new generations of these powerful tools.

Among Federal agencies, NSF is a leader in providing the academic community with access to forefront instrumentation and facilities. Much of this infrastructure is intended to address currently intractable research questions, the answers to which may transform current scientific thinking. In an era of fast-paced discovery, it is imperative that NSF's infrastructure investments provide the maximum benefit to the entire S&E community. NSF must be prepared to assume a greater S&E infrastructure role for the benefit of the Nation.


Related Reports
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nsb0577 Setting Priorities for Large Research Facility Projects Supported by the National Science Foundation
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nsb02190 Science and Engineering Infrastructure for the 21st Century
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nsb01160 Executive Summary, Federal Research Resources: A Process for Setting Priorities
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nsb01156 Federal Research Resources: A Process for Setting Priorities
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nsb0139 The Scientific Allocation of Scientific Resourses

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National Science Board
The National Science Board, 4201 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, Virginia 22230, USA
Tel: (703) 292-7000, FIRS: (800) 877-8339 | TDD: (800) 281-8749
Last Updated:
Jul 31, 2009
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