Rep. Rodney Davis declares support for Blue Waters in House floor address

06.15.16 -

U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis (IL-13) voted this week in favor of important legislation to improve federal coordination with the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA), located at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

The bill, H.R. 5312, Networking and Information Technology Research and Development (NITRD) Modernization Act was introduced by Rep. Darin LaHood (IL-18) and passed the House by a vote of 385-7. This bill will update and streamline the existing NITRD program in order to more accurately reflect today's technology and increase global competitiveness.

In Davis's address to the House, he stated that the legislation "ensures [that the] University of Illinois, home to nationally recognized scientists and the Blue Waters supercomputer, can continue to be a leader in the field of networking and computing."

NITRD is the primary source of federal funding for advanced information technologies. It is one of the many financial supporters of Blue Waters.

"By streamlining the NITRD program we can ensure U.S. competitiveness in advanced technologies while improving collaboration between federal agencies, national laboratories, private industry and academia," Davis also stated.

Davis' prepared remarks read as follows:

Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of H.R. 5312, Networking and Information Technology Research and Development (NITRD) Modernization Act, which would streamline federal investment in high-end computing, benefitting local entities that use advanced information technologies, such as the University of Illinois, Caterpillar, and Western Illinois University.

This legislation ensures University of Illinois, home to nationally recognized scientists and the Blue Waters supercomputer, can continue to be a leader in the field of networking and computing.

The National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, which is funded by many federal agencies, has an impressive history of providing integrated cyberinfrastructure to scientists, engineers, and scholars across the country.

Addressing complex problems in today’s science and society requires expertise and engagement from multiple disciplines. NCSA is committed to continuing to serve as a central hub for transdisciplinary teams to unite in making technological advancements.

These important research programs are critical for coordinating federal research and fostering revolutionary breakthroughs in computing, networking, software, and cybersecurity.

By streamlining the NITRD program we can ensure U.S. competitiveness in advanced technologies while improving collaboration between federal agencies, national laboratories, private industry and academia.

Mr. Speaker H.R. 5312 is an effective use of taxpayer dollars that makes an already successful program even stronger and more efficient. I urge my colleagues to support this legislation. Thank you.
National Science Foundation

Blue Waters is supported by the National Science Foundation through awards ACI-0725070 and ACI-1238993.