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Cloud Computing Vital to U.S. Economic Growth and Competitiveness: NSF

Report will be instrumental in informing Federal decision makers and cloud investment

The Arlington, Virginia-based National Science Foundation has just released its "Report on Support for Cloud Computing" - in response to the America Competes Reauthorization Act of 2010, Section 524.

It is an absolute must-read for all concerned with current and future research projects in Cloud Computing. (Full version [PDF].)

At just 21 pages it is not a mammoth report, yet it nicely scopes out the waterfront of R&D initiatives, and in particular details the activities of the Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE) Directorate of NSF.

CISE is increasingly funding awards in six areas that are specifically targeted to or have significant impact on cloud computing:

  1. Computer Systems
  2. Computer Networks
  3. Security and Privacy
  4. Algorithms and data management
  5. Applications and software engineering
  6. Computer science education

"This report will be instrumental in informing Federal decision makers and cloud investment," notes veteran CTO and GovIT commentator Bob Gourley.

Anyone doubting the U.S. government's commitment, via the NSF, to the cloud will be interested to learn that the report notes the existence of 125 separate awards to cloud computing projects and big data initiatives - including 76 active awards managed by the Computer and Network Systems {CNS) Division, 40 active awards managed by the Computing and Communications Foundations (CCF) Division, and 9 active awards managed by the Information and Intelligent Systems {liS) Division.

The report concludes as follows:

"As recognized by both NIST and the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act, cloud computing is an area vital to the economic growth and competitiveness of the nation.

The CISE community has responded vigorously to the challenge, as evidenced by the wide range of research efforts underway that are supported by numerous programs throughout the CISE Directorate.

For the most part, the research directions already under exploration by the CISE research community were arrived at naturally, without specific emphasis on cloud computing by NSF. With a few exceptions, these projects already address the critica l areas identified at the PI Meeting on the Science of Cloud Computing. The remaining gaps include some areas noted by NIST as barriers to adoption.

These critical areas were included in the CISE/CNS Division Core Program Solicitation for FY 2012, which included Cloud Computing as a "Highlighted Area" for its Computer Systems Research (CSR) program. Future solicitations will seek additional research in these areas as appropriate. NSF anticipates that the CISE directorate will continue its support for Cloud Computing in future years, primarily driven by the CNS Division, with participation by CCF, liS, the Office of Cyberinfrastructure (OCI), and other Directorates or Offices as appropriate."

More Stories By Jeremy Geelan

Jeremy Geelan is Chairman & CEO of the 21st Century Internet Group, Inc. and an Executive Academy Member of the International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences. Formerly he was President & COO at Cloud Expo, Inc. and Conference Chair of the worldwide Cloud Expo series. He appears regularly at conferences and trade shows, speaking to technology audiences across six continents. You can follow him on twitter: @jg21.

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