Appendix E: Coordination Processes
and Plans

The current Federal HPCC Program brought together a new level of Agency coordination in the R&D sector. This program has coordinated research across agencies and has accelerated technology transfer into key application areas for both computational and information intensive needs. The future of information and communications demands flexible management to accommodate the most aggressive technologies, policies, and organizations in agile CIC programs.

The CIC believes this is best achieved through streamlined collaborations with industry and academia; cooperative program management across Agency bounds; and collective support of Agency programs. Starting with the six strategic focus areas developed in this report, a new and dynamic generation of R&D processes to support information and communications will evolve over the next year to meet the challenges described in earlier sections of this document. This section briefly describes the means to achieve these goals for managing CIC programs.

E.1. Streamlined Collaboration with Industry and Academia

Innovation in R&D comes from all sectors of the economy - industry, academia, government, and individual Americans. Each must contribute to the planning and execution of the R&D agenda in appropriate ways. This document represents the beginning of the first phase of CIC's engagement with these sectors.

During phase one, the vision, strategy, and projects described in this document will be brought to each sector through symposia, meetings, and public documents. Based upon the successful work already funded through the Federal HPCC Program and other Agency programs, detailed plans and new ideas will be discussed, debated, and formulated through living on-line documents. By this process, the broad research community will be empowered to provide valuable feedback to CIC's planning process, as will the Federal Networking Council, the National Research Council and various Agency advisory groups. In general, an unprecedented level of opportunity for inputs and dialogue will exist by using information technology to rapidly develop plans, programs, and strategies.

Phase two of the collaboration process will begin in the next budget cycle, using the proven process prototyped in phase one. The rapidly changing needs and capabilities of information technology will demand new focus areas to emerge over time. Furthermore, other committees, sectors, and industries will depend on the maturing technologies stimulated by the investments of this committee. Long term sustained investments based on adaptable, opportunistic, and bold strategies will be key to success.

E.2. Cooperative Program Management

As described in Section 4, the cooperative management process of the Federal HPCC Program has led to its success in being viewed as a "virtual agency." In turn, this success is attributable to the respective Agency commitments, cooperative programs, and the streamlined execution support provided. Certainly not every CIC program should be managed as a Federally coordinated effort - there is substantial overhead incurred, and some projects are unique to specific agency missions. Yet the net results in applicable areas avoid duplication, expedite formation of projects, stimulate new ideas, and challenge stereotypical thinking.

CIC believes that the six strategic focus areas discussed in Section 2 will dramatically aid cooperative management when coupled to the baseline and complementary investments that are unique to each Agency. Just as the National Coordination Office (NCO) has supported the HPCC program, the NCO will evolve to support the CIC processes as these enhanced cooperative programs are defined by the various agencies, OSTP, and OMB.

E.3. Collective Agency Support

As described earlier in this document, information and communications are becoming more pervasive in all aspects of government, industry, academia, and the lives of individuals. Not surprisingly, Federal agencies are embracing the latest technologies in many different ways, specifically tailored to meet their missions. For example, the National Security Agency will apply high performance scalable technologies in ways that are different from those of the Environmental Protection Agency. However it is possible to coordinate the research for emerging component technologies in ways that enable both agencies to be more effective.

This diversity of applications across agencies, coupled with commonality in basic information and communications research, highlights the critical importance of CIC's collective support and autonomy of agency roles. The success of this program will be measured in part by each agency rapidly adapting the technologies to its own missions, and by integrating its research missions into an integrated whole. CIC, therefore, will use the planning process to collectively support related agency investments in research and technology. Since Agencies are in the best position to know their own missions, one of CIC's challenges in support of Agency research is to provide an important forum for bringing world-class information and communications research to cutting-edge mission needs.