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FY 2017 NITRD Program Component Area (PCA) Definitions 

Pre-2017 NITRD Program Component Area (PCA) Definitions

Cyber Security and Information Assurance (CSIA)

CSIA focuses on research and development to detect, prevent, resist respond to, and recover from actions that compromise or threaten to compromise the availability, integrity, or confidentiality of computer- and network-based systems. These systems provide the IT foundation in every sector of the economy, including critical infrastructures such as power grids, financial systems, and air-traffic-control networks. These systems also support national defense, national and homeland security, and other vital Federal missions. Broad areas of concern include Internet and network security; security of information and computer-based systems; approaches to achieving hardware and software security; testing and assessment of computer-based systems security; and reconstitution of computer-based systems and data.

Human Computer Interaction and Information Management (HCI & IM)

HCI&IM focuses on R&D to expand human capabilities and knowledge through the use and management of information by computer systems and by humans, facilitated by hardware, software, and systems technologies. These technologies include robotics, multimodal interaction technologies, visualization, agents, cognitive systems, collaborative systems, and information systems that support the organization and refinement of data from discovery to decision and action. HCI&IM outcomes support U.S. national priorities such as scientific research, energy and the environment, climate change and prediction, health care, education and training, protecting our information infrastructure, emergency planning and response, national defense, homeland security, weather forecasting, and space exploration.

High Confidence Software and Systems (HCSS)

HCSS R&D supports development of scientific foundations and innovative and enabling software and hardware technologies for the engineering, verification and validation, assurance, and certification of complex, networked, distributed computing systems and cyber-physical (IT-enabled) systems (CPS). The goal is to enable seamless, fully synergistic integration of computational intelligence, communication, control, sensing, actuation, and adaptation with physical devices and information processes to routinely realize high-confidence, optimally performing systems that are essential for effectively operating life-, safety-, security-, and mission-critical applications. These systems must be capable of interacting correctly, safely, and securely with humans and the physical world in changing environments and unforeseen conditions. In many cases, they must be certifiably dependable. The vision is to realize dependable systems that are more precise and highly efficient; respond more quickly; work in dangerous or inaccessible environments; provide large-scale, distributed coordination; augment human capabilities; and enhance societal quality of life. New science and technology are needed to build these systems with computing, communication, information, and control pervasively embedded at all levels, thus enabling entirely new generations of engineering designs that can enhance U.S. competitiveness across economic and industrial sectors.

High End Computing (HEC)

Infrastructure and Applications (HEC I&A)

HEC I&A agencies coordinate Federal activities to provide advanced computing systems, applications software, data management, and HEC R&D infrastructure to meet agency mission needs. The HEC infrastructure enable researchers in academia, Federal laboratories, and industry to model and simulate complex processes in aerospace, astronomy, biology, biomedical science, chemistry, climate and weather, energy and environmental sciences, high energy physics materials science, nanoscale science and technology, national security, and other areas to address Federal agency mission needs.

High End Computing Research and Development (HEC R&D)

HEC R&D agencies conduct and coordinate hardware and software R&D to enable the successful development and effective use of future high-end systems to meet projected Federal agency mission needs, to address many of society’s long-term challenges, and to strengthen the Nation’s leadership in science, engineering, and technology. Research areas of interest include developing applications and system architectures that effectively utilize billion-fold concurrency, reducing the energy per computation by orders of magnitude, achieving system resilience at extreme scales, and enabling future revolutions in simulation- and big-data-enabled science and technology.

Large Scale Networking (LSN)

LSN members coordinate Federal agency networking R&D in leading-edge networking technologies, services, and enhanced performance, including programs in future Internet architectures, heterogeneous multimedia community testbeds; middleware, end-to-end performance and performance measurement, network security, networks for disaster response, science and engineering of complex networks; advanced networking components; cloud, grid, and collaboration networking tools and services; education, training, and outreach to support networking services; and engineering, management, and enabling large-scale networks for scientific and applications R&D, including large-scale data transfers and virtual organization functionality. The results of this coordinated R&D, once deployed, can help assure that the next generation of the Internet will be scalable, reliable, and flexible to support user applications.

Software Design and Productivity (SDP)

The SDP R&D agenda spans both the science and the technology of software creation and sustainment (e.g., development methods and environments, V&V technologies, component technologies, languages, and tools) and software project management in diverse domains. R&D will advance software engineering concepts, methods, techniques, and tools that result in more usable, dependable, cost-effective, evolvable, and sustainable software-intensive systems. The domains cut across information technology, industrial production, evolving areas such as the Internet and the World Wide Web, and highly complex, interconnected software-intensive systems. The core SDP R&D activities are software productivity, software cost, responsiveness to change, and sustainment. The success of these activities will have a major beneficial effect on high-confidence systems because they are critically dependent upon the quality of the software and on the many companies producing software reliant products.

Social, Economic, and Workforce Implications of IT and IT Workforce Development (SEW)

Research activities funded under the SEW PCA focus on the co-evolution of IT and social, economic, and workforce systems including interactions between people and IT and among people developing and using IT in groups, organizations, and larger social networks. Collaborative science concerns are addressed including improving the effectiveness of teams and enhancing geographically distributed, interdisciplinary R&D to engage societal concerns, such as competitiveness, security, economic development, and well-being. Workforce concerns are addressed by leveraging interagency efforts to improve education outcomes through the use of learning technologies that anticipate the educational needs of individuals and society. SEW also supports efforts to speed the transfer of R&D results to the policymaker, practitioner, and IT user communities in all sectors.

FY 2017 NITRD Program Component Area (PCA) Definitions