NSF PR 00-31 - May 15, 2000
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NSF Creates Partnership to Further Digital Government
The National Science Foundation (NSF) will announce
a new partnership for the advancement of digital government
at a national workshop that opens today in Los Angeles.
The partnership, known as "dg.o," (DigitalGovernment.Org),
brings together computer science researchers with
federal, state and local agencies to improve the quality
and scope of on-line government services.
The dg.o 2000 workshop, hosted by the University of
Southern California Information Sciences Institute
(ISI), will showcase NSF-funded information technology
(IT) designed to help agencies form strategic visions
for improving efficiency and service to citizens.
Computer scientists from around the country will demonstrate
technologies ranging from data mining and geospatial
information sharing systems to intelligent agents
for the web.
"NSF began to explore IT research partnerships with
Federal mission agencies in 1994, when 12 agencies
jointly contributed to development of the first popular
web browser, Mosaic," said Larry Brandt, NSF program
manager for digital government. "Now with dg.o, we
are taking the next steps to build a multi-sector
research-based community of many universities and
Although going digital has made government interactions
easier, it has also brought a new set of problems,
explains ISI's Yigal Arens, chair of the conference
and co-director of NSF's Digital Government Research
Center, jointly operated by ISI and Columbia University.
"The NSF and DGRC are interested in finding ways for
the government and citizens to interact more effectively
via the Internet," Arens said. "It's no longer a question
of whether each agency has a website or a database,
but how to make all those different systems work together
so that both agencies and the public can get the most
out of the information in them."
NSF, through its Directorate for Computer and Information
Science and Engineering, established the Digital Government
program. Investments have been $12.5 million in the
past two years. The program makes research grants
to universities ranging between $100,000 and $500,000
per year, in addition to smaller planning and workshop
grants. The projects are augmented by $3.1 million
from other agencies, which also provide in-kind contributions
of staff, data and facilities.
NSF-funded digital government activities include:
- improving citizen access to government statistical
- managing information and knowledge for law enforcement;
- implementing a testbed of high-speed communications
for comprehensive emergency management; and
- ensuring security for web-based statistical analysis
of confidential data.
The dg.o consortium will support participating research
institutions and the digital government community
by giving academic researchers insight into federal
agency needs, transferring emergent information technology
from academia to member agencies, acting as an information
source across agencies and helping to leverage resources
For more information about the NSF Digital Government
Program and the dg.o consortium, see: http://www.diggov.org