actions required to realize major advances

identifying complementary investments and actions required to realize major advances

ATRA would provide leadership by setting overall goals and objectives but should foster a diversity of ideas and a robust competition in ideas among rival research groups. Universities should receive a significant portion of funding to conduct unfettered research while educating future generations of U.S. researchers. However, ATRA should also address industry interests by providing support for industry to collaborate with universities. By allocating funding to both universities and corporations, ATRA would help achieve the critical goal of connecting the key components for future success.
Establish advisory committees that include significant, high-level industry participation. Advisory committees with representatives from equipment suppliers and service providers would help ensure that ATRA is responsive to industry needs. The participation of high-level executives is critical to both ensuring ATRA’s relevance and sustaining industry buy-in and support for ATRA activities. This requirement suggests the wisdom of creating an executive council that includes chief executives of equipment and software suppliers and service providers along with representatives from federal agencies concerned with telecommunications and telecommunications research (e.g., DARPA, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), NSF, and the Federal Communications Commission). Additional advisory committees might be established to address individual major technology areas (e.g., optical and wireless communications or network security) or the interplay between technology and regulatory developments.
Explore future needs for RD centers and shared facilities to complement distributed, project-based research. There are a number of research problems whose investigation might ultimately require centers or shared facilities. For example, characterizing and improving the security and reliability of a large-scale communications network, especially when it comprises multiple interconnected service providers that use diverse technologies, requires a much broader perspective than can be brought by any individual or group of individuals. Centers may also be a way to more efficiently provide certain experimental facilities—such as for fabrication, prototyping, and testing. For example, research that depends on fabrication of integrated circuits or other devices may require access to facilities that are beyond the reach of a university-based research group. Finally, centers provide a nucleus for academic-industry collaboration and for interdisciplinary research.

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