The Networking and Information Technology Research and Development (NITRD) Program is the Nation’s primary source of federally funded research and development (R&D) in advanced information technologies (IT) in computing, networking, and software. NITRD is among the oldest and largest of formal Federal programs that coordinate the activities of multiple agencies to tackle multidisciplinary, multitechnology, and multisector R&D needs. The 24 NITRD member agencies now invest approximately $5 billion annually in R&D programs that identify, develop, and transition to practical use the advanced networking and IT capabilities needed by the Federal Government and the Nation.

Advanced networking and IT capabilities underpin U.S. technological leadership in the world, as well as American military superiority, national security, economic prosperity, energy dominance, health, innovation, maintenance of a cutting-edge IT research infrastructure, and expansion of the skilled cyber-enabled workforce. NITRD’s interagency communication and collaboration in IT R&D leverage agency strengths, help avoid duplication, and foster development of interoperable systems, thus improving the cost-effectiveness of Federal research investments. The NITRD collaboration framework also supports individual and joint agency outreach to academia and industry to foster alliances and strengthen the national innovation ecosystem.

Under the current Administration, the NITRD Program has enhanced Federal R&D and community engagement across NITRD's broad portfolio of information technology R&D through interagency reports, community presentations, information portals, and expert convenings. Here are highlights of recent NITRD accomplishments.


The NITRD Program is managed by the Subcommittee on Networking and Information Technology Research and Development (NITRD Subcommittee) of the National Science and Technology Council (NSTC) Committee on Science and Technology Enterprise (CSTE) and operates under the aegis of the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP).

NITRD Organization Chart

The Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) was established by the National Science and Technology Policy, Organization, and Priorities Act of 1976 (Public Law 94-282) to provide the President and others within the Executive Office of the President with advice on the scientific, engineering, and technological aspects of the economy, national security, homeland security, health, foreign relations, the environment, and the technological recovery and use of resources, among other topics. OSTP leads interagency science and technology policy coordination efforts, assists the Office of Management and Budget with an annual review and analysis of Federal research and development in budgets, and serves as a source of scientific and technological analysis and judgment for the President with respect to major policies, plans, and programs of the Federal Government. More information is available at

The National Science and Technology Council (NSTC) is the principal means by which the Executive Branch coordinates science and technology policy across the diverse entities that make up the Federal research and development enterprise. A primary objective of the NSTC is to ensure science and technology policy decisions and programs are consistent with the President's stated goals. The NSTC prepares research and development strategies that are coordinated across Federal agencies aimed at accomplishing multiple national goals. The work of the NSTC is organized under committees that oversee subcommittees and working groups focused on different aspects of science and technology. More information is available at

The NITRD Subcommittee comprises senior representatives of the 24 Federal member agencies and departments that invest in IT-related R&D programs, as well as representatives of OSTP and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). The Subcommittee interacts routinely with Congress, OMB, OSTP, and the Federal agencies with budgets and interests in IT R&D. It meets in person three times a year, and online as needed, to plan, review, and coordinate NITRD policies, programs, and activities.  The NITRD Subcommittee is co-chaired by the Director of the NITRD NCO and an OSTP-designated representative from among the NITRD member agencies (NITRD Subcommittee and Group Co-Chairs). Each NITRD Subcommittee member agency identifies a primary representative and an alternate to the NITRD Subcommittee. (NITRD Subcommittee Representatives and Alternates).

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The following Federal departments and agencies conduct or support R&D in advanced networking and information technologies, report IT research budgets in the NITRD budget crosscut, and provide support for NITRD Program coordination:

Department of Commerce (DOC)

Department of Defense (DoD)

Department of Energy (DOE)

Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)

Department of Homeland Security (DHS)

Department of the Interior (DOI)

Department of Justice (DOJ)

Department of State (DOS)

Independent Agencies

NITRD FY2020 Budget ($ in Millions) by Agency [source]

Representatives of over 40 other Federal departments and agencies participate in NITRD activities and have mission interests in advanced networking and IT R&D and applications; they support NITRD Program coordination but do not participate in the NITRD Subcommittee.

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The annual NITRD Program Supplement to the President’s Budget provides a technical summary of NITRD research investments and activities planned and coordinated through the NITRD Program in a given Federal budget cycle, as required by the High-Performance Computing Act of 1991 (P.L. 102-194) and reauthorized by Congress in the American Innovation and Competitiveness Act of 2017 (P.L. 114-329). The budget reporting and technical program summaries are organized by NITRD Program Component Areas (PCAs). The Supplement provides NITRD members’ budget reporting for the most recently completed budget cycle, the current budget cycle, and the budget requests for the next fiscal year. Budget information for the entire span of the NITRD Program, mirroring that reported in the annual Supplements, is captured in visual and interactive forms in the NITRD Dashboard.


The NITRD PCAs are major subject areas for Federal IT R&D. PCAs are intended to facilitate budgetary comparisons from year to year in each area. The PCA set evolves over time, reflecting changes in IT R&D activities at Federal agencies and IT R&D priorities of the Administration. NITRD's FY2020 PCAs are:

NITRD FY2020 Budget ($ in Millions) by PCA [source]

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The NITRD technical coordination efforts are focused in its Interagency Working Groups (IWGs) where member- and participating-agency representatives exchange information and collaborate on research plans and activities such as testbeds, workshops, and cooperative solicitations. Such activities enable agencies to coordinate and focus their R&D resources on important, shared problems with the common goals of making new discoveries, developing new technological solutions, and transitioning those to practical use. Additional benefits accrue from cultivating a vibrant scientific and intellectual enterprise in which researchers across various agencies, disciplines, and sectors share ideas and results, speeding the overall pace of innovation.  The NITRD IWGs are:

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The NITRD National Coordination Office (NCO) provides day-to-day support to the NITRD Program, the NITRD Subcommittee, and its IWGs by providing technical staff expertise, planning, coordination, point of contact, physical and virtual meeting venues, and administrative assistance for Program activities. The NCO continuously seeks to enhance its ability to be a catalyst for collaboration, exchange of information, and outreach to foster knowledge, methods, R&D, technology transfer, and innovation for U.S. global leadership in networking and information technology and their applications. The budget for the NCO is set by the NITRD Subcommittee.

Key NCO Activities on behalf of the NITRD Program and in cooperation with its oversight and participating bodies are as follows:

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In its first annual report to the Congress, NITRD - then the HPCC Program - reported an estimated FY1991 multiagency budget of $489.4 million and a proposed FY1992 budget of $638.3 million. Eight Federal agencies were represented in that budget: DARPA, DOE, EPA, NASA, NIH, NIST, NOAA, and NSF.

Since 1991, the NITRD program has evolved to address the dramatic expansion in information technologies, applications, and Government needs by adjusting the R&D focus to address emerging areas of interest. Today, there are 24 agency members of the NITRD Program, which now encompasses more than $5.5B in Federal IT R&D reported in FY2020. Additional information on NITRD-related R&D expenditures may be found at the NITRD dashboard website.


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Kamie Roberts August 2018 - present
Bryan Biegel August 2016 - August 2018
Keith Marzullo June 2015 - July 2016
George O. Strawn November 2009 - June 2015
Ernest L. McDuffie September 2009 - November 2009 acting director
Christopher L. Greer October 2007 - September 2009
Charles Romine January 2007 - October 2007 acting director
Simon Szykman May 2005 - January 2007
David B. Nelson December 2002 - April 2005
Cita M. Furlani October 2000 - November 2002
Kay Howell December 1997 - September 2000
Sally E. Howe July 1997 - December 1997 acting director
John C. Toole March 1995 - July 1997
Donald A.B. Lindberg September 1992 - March 1995

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Page updated: September 10, 2019