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House/Senate conferees have agreed to increase NSF's research support by 7%, splitting the difference between House and Senate bills. They have also rejected the Senate's directions to NSF that would have asked for a new focus on strategic/applied research. George Brown (D-CA) has suggested that the President could require agencies to ignore earmarks in appropriations reports. Brown managed to amend the House Defense Appropriations Bill to require that funds be awarded competitively, thus freeing their Technology Reinvestment Project of $123M (23%) in earmarks. [Robert L. Park ([email protected]), WHAT'S NEW, 10/1/93.]

NSF will award $1.2M this spring in the Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) pilot program, a new federal program that links entrepreneurs to the academic research community. NIH, NASA, DOE, and DOD are also participating. NSF is focusing initially on analytical chemical instrumentation. Winning projects will receive up to $100K in the first year to explore feasibility, with subsequent awards of up to $350K over two years for design and development. Small businesses must submit the proposals in collaboration with universities or nonprofit institutions. NSF's Div. of Industrial Innovation Interface has scheduled conferences about its SBIR and STTR programs for Arlington (10/13-15), Seattle (11/15-17), and Houston (4/26-28). [STIS file pr9375. Arthur R. McGee ([email protected]), DEVEL-L, 10/5/93. net-hap.]

NSF, ARPA, and NASA have announced an initiative in Research on Digital Libraries, including capture and digitization, segmentation and image analysis, OCR and pattern recognition, NL understanding, clustering and thesaurus construction, classification and indexing, merging and hyper-linking, heterogeneous distributed storage, abstracting and summarization, language generation, alerting, browsing and searching, data visualization and multiscale display, query languages, query optimization and learning, robust matching and intelligent retrieval, knowbots and agents, personalized interactive news, economic and social studies, network security and privacy, data compression, protocol design, digital publishing, intellectual property rights, and impact on science. NSF expects to award six grants of up to $1.2M/year for four years to develop significant commercial digital library resources in distributed environments. 25% cost sharing is required. Proposals are due by 2/4/94. Request brochure NSF 93-141 and announcements from Gwendolyn Barber ([email protected]), Room 310, NSF, 1800 G Street NW, Washington, DC 20550. Direct technical questions to Laurence C. Rosenberg ([email protected]), (202) 357-9592, (202) 357-0320 Fax. [Paul Evan Peters ([email protected]), net-hap, 9/22/93.]

NSF's new head of Advanced Scientific Computing will be Robert R. Borchers, assistant to the director for the University Relations Office at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. [HPC Select, 10/1/93.]