The Minds We Need
Inclusion, Innovation, and Competitiveness
We are at a crossroads.
China and the nations of the European Union are making historical investments in research and education (R&E) infrastructure, along with investments in talent, so that the ideas and innovations that can change the world flourish. These are investments in innovation and competitiveness.
We can choose to do nothing and be overtaken as the world leader in innovation. Or we can make the choice that we have made at other crossroads in our history: we can invest in our talent, through our system of higher education, and provide all Americans with opportunities, regardless of where they live or their economic status to participate fully in our research enterprise, which has been an engine for innovation in the US economy and a global leader.
We know that talent is everywhere, but opportunity is not. We know that R&E infrastructure is essential for our scientific and engineering talent to flourish. We propose that we invest in our R&E infrastructure, ensuring that it reaches every community through our diverse system of 3,900 accredited, degree-granting higher education institutions, and ensuring that there is a bridge to opportunity wherever there is talent. These are investments in inclusion, innovation, and competitiveness.
We cannot know where the next Edison, Carver, Curie, McClintock, Einstein, or Katherine Johnson will come from.
“Our top priority should be getting infrastructure out to those that don’t already have it. Smaller institutions face big obstacles to building cyberinfrastructure including available connectivity, geography, and an adequate workforce.” Jen Leasure, President & Chief Executive Officer, The Quilt.
Strengthening Our National Broadband Initiative
Research and education infrastructure is a critical component of a national broadband plan. It complements the focus on universal access by providing a foundation for inclusion, innovation, discovery, and national competitiveness. Our national story is incomplete when diverse human potential is untapped, and competitive threats unmet.
To ensure inclusion, drive innovation, enhance competitiveness, and equalize opportunity we must:
- Connect every community college, every minority serving institution, and every college and university, including all urban, rural, and tribal institutions to a world-class and secure R&E infrastructure, with particular attention to institutions that have been chronically underserved;
- Engage and empower every student and researcher everywhere with the opportunity to join collaborative environments of the future, because we cannot know where the next Edison, Carver, Curie, McClintock, Einstein, or Katherine Johnson will come from; and
- Ensure American competitiveness and leadership by investing holistically in national R&E infrastructure as a sustainable system.
“We need to build an infrastructure for collaboration, community spaces for like-minded individuals to share knowledge and best practices. For example, the tribes in Southern California have created an online opportunity for a community space with the Maori and indigenous people around the world. Cyberinfrastructure can change the greater ecosystem of indigenous people and of other groups as well.” Matthew Rantanen, Director of Technology, Southern California Tribal Chairmen’s Association.
Investing in Research and Education Infrastructure
Our plan calls for a $4.989 Billion one-time investment to expand the nation’s research and education infrastructure, to be completed in three phases, extending R&E leading-edge capabilities to every community college, minority serving institution, college and university, enabling innovation while ensuring every college student is connected into an advanced digital fabric.
Awards in all categories should be prioritized to nonprofit R&E networks, tribal, and/or across all community colleges, minority serving institutions, colleges and universities, and university research-affiliated organizations that can then form partnerships, as appropriate, with private sector companies to implement the programs, with a goal of engaging our nation’s diverse system of 3,900 accredited, degree-granting higher education institutions.
“The national infrastructure today is not uniform and does not reach all states, nor does it reach community colleges, which are feeders into four-year programs. We must enable institutions in all 50 states to have high-speed capacity. The emphasis in any national plan must be on spreading capacity to the most underserved communities. This should include strategies to make the cloud-based data storage systems usable and affordable.” Vint Cerf, Vice President and Chief Internet Evangelist, Google.
Contributors to The Minds We Need Paper
|Ilkay Altintas||Chief Data Science Officer||San Diego Supercomputer Center, University of California San Diego|
|V. Balaji||Head, Modeling Systems Division, Cooperative Institute for Modeling the Earth System||Princeton University|
|Joe Bengfort||Senior Vice President, Information Technology and CIO||UC San Francisco|
|Duncan Brown||Charles Brightman Endowed Professor of Physics||Syracuse University|
|Cort Buffington||Executive Director||Kansas Research and Education Network|
|Judith Bush||Identity and Access Management Architect||OCLC, Inc.|
|William Carson||Chairman of the Board||Otsuka Pharmaceutical Development & Commercialization, Inc.|
|Vint Cerf||Vice President and Chief Internet Evangelist|
|Mark Cianca||Associate Vice President, Operational Services||University of California System – Office of the President|
|Damian Clarke||Chief Information Officer and Computer Science Faculty||Alabama A&M University|
|Steve Corbató||Executive Director||Oregon Fiber Partnership/ Link Oregon|
|Camille Crittenden||Executive Director, CITRIS and the Banatao Institute||UC Berkeley|
|Jim Davis||Vice Provost, Information Technology||UCLA|
|James Deaton||Executive Director||Great Plains Network|
|Kathy Eftekhari||Chief of Staff to the Vice President||UC Agriculture and Natural Resources|
|Elias Eldayrie||Vice President and Chief Information Officer||University of Florida|
|Alex Feltus||Professor of Genetics and Biochemistry||Clemson University|
|Linda Forbes||Director of Strategic Communications||UC Agriculture and Natural Resources|
|Louis Fox||President & Chief Executive Officer||CENIC|
|Tracy Futhey||Vice President and Chief Information Officer||Duke University|
|Marc Hoit||Vice Chancellor for Information Technology and Chief Information Officer||North Carolina State University|
|Glenda Humiston||Vice President, Agriculture and Natural Resources||UC Office of the President|
|Ana Hunsinger||Vice President, Community Engagement||Internet2|
|Ronald R. Hutchins||Vice President for Information Technology||University of Virginia|
|Steve Huter||Executive Director||National Startup Resource Center at the University of Oregon|
|Mark Johnson||Assistant Vice Chancellor for Communication Technologies||University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill|
|Jean Jones||Assistant Vice Chancellor for Research||UC Santa Barbara|
|Anke Kamrath||Director of Computational and Information Systems Laboratory||National Center for Atmospheric Research|
|Vince Kellen||CIO||UC San Diego|
|Charley Kneifel||Senior Technical Director||Duke University|
|Jen Leasure||President & Chief Executive Officer||The Quilt|
|Lonnie Leger||Executive Director||Louisiana Optical Network Initiative|
|David Lindeman||Director, CITRIS Health||UC Berkeley|
|George Loftus||Associate Vice President, Network Services||Internet2|
|David Lois||Chief Executive Officer||WiscNet|
|Joel J. Mambretti||Director||International Center for Advanced Internet Research at Northwestern University; and Metropolitan Research and Education Network|
|Derek Masseth||Executive Director||Sun Corridor Network|
|Shawn McKee||Research Scientist in the Department of Physics/Director||University of Michigan/Center for Network and Storage-Enabled Collaborative Computational Science.|
|Marla Meehl||Head of Network Engineering and Telecommunications Services in the Office of the CIO||University Corporation for Atmospheric Research|
|Anne Megaro||Government and Community Relations||UC Agriculture and Natural Resources|
|David Merrifield||Interim Executive Director||Arkansas Research and Education Network|
|Inder Monga||Executive Director||Energy Sciences Network|
|Kevin Morooney||Vice President for Trust & Identity and NET+ Programs||Internet2|
|Harvey Newman||Marvin L. Goldberger Professor of Physics||Caltech|
|Anita Nikolich||Director of Research and Technology Innovation and Research Scientist||University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign|
|Michael L. Norman||Director, San Diego Supercomputer Center and Distinguished Professor of Physics||UC San Diego|
|John O’Brien||President and Chief Executive Officer||EDUCAUSE|
|Laura Paglione||Consultant and Project Manager||Spherical Cow Group|
|Howard Pfeffer||President and Chief Executive Officer||Internet2|
|Amy Philipson||Executive Director||Pacific Northwest Gigapop|
|Matthew Rantanen||Director of Technology||Southern California Tribal Chairmen’s Association|
|Ramesh Rao||Director, Qualcomm Institute and Interim Director CaliT2 and Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering||UC San Diego|
|Joseph Sawasky||President and Chief Executive Officer||MERIT Network|
|Pankaj Shah||Executive Director||Ohio Academic Resources Network|
|Tripti Sinha||Assistant Vice President and Chief Technology Officer/Executive Director||University of Maryland/ Mid-Atlantic Crossroads (MAX)|
|Larry Smarr||Distinguished Professor Emeritus/Founding Director||University of California San Diego/California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (Calit2)|
|Jim Stewart||Chief Technology Officer||Utah Education and Telehealth Network|
|Jack Suess||Vice President of Information Technology||University of Maryland, Baltimore County|
|Joy Thompson||Information Technology Director||Diné College|
|Scott Valcourt||Associate Teaching Professor||Roux Institute at Northeastern University|
|Rob Vietzke||Vice President, Network Services||Internet2|
|Von Welch||Associate Vice President for Information Security and Executive Director for Cybersecurity Innovation||Indiana University|
|Christopher Whalen||International Program Manager and President||Research Data and Communication Technology|
|Lisa Wilson||Associate Vice President for Research and Sponsored Programs||Clarke Atlanta University|
|Gabriel Youtsey||Chief Innovation Officer||UC Agriculture and Natural Resources|