2006/10/06 10:35 Government Panel

2006/10/06 10:35 Government Panel, SSME - Education for the 21st Century Conference, IBM Palisades, New York

Services Science, Engineering and Management Conference, at IBM Palisades, October 6-7

This digest was created in real-time during the meeting, based on the speaker's presentation(s) and comments from the audience. The content should not be viewed as an official transcript of the meeting, but only as an interpretation by a single individual. Lapses, grammatical errors, and typing mistakes may not have been corrected. Questions about content should be directed to the originator. The digest has been made available for purposes of scholarship, posted on the Coevolving Innovations web site by David Ing.

Introduction by Susan Tuttle (Moderator), IBM,  Director, Worldwide Innovation Policy

Governments are important

  • Jésus Villasante, Department Head, Software Technologies and Distributed Systems Unit Directorate General of the Information Society, European Commission 
  • William B. Bonvillian, Director, Washington Office, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Debasish Dutta, Ph.D., Advisor, Office of the Assistant Director, Education and Human Resources, NSF 
  • Leandro S. Jesus, Professor, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro 

"Software and Services Research in the European Union" 

(actually projects supported by the European Commission)

(Jésus Villasante, European Commission)

European Commission on Information Society and Media

  • Regulation
  • Research
  • Policy


  • Interest in services
  • Software was packages, now services
  • Interest in public on reliability and dependability, impact on buisness
  • Will influence society in general

Present framework (to 2007), funding 46 projects, $275M Euros

Research topics:

  • Services
  • Complexity
  • Software engineering
  • Open source

Expect for 2007-2013, will adopt Framework Programme VII

Horizontal roadblocks:

  • Network and service infrastructures
  • Cognitive systems, robitics and interacitons
  • Components, subsystems and embeeded systesm

Challenge 1:

  • Network of the future
  • Security
  • Media
  • Services

Looking for more industry involvement, looking for commitment to NESSI

"Government Research Support for the New Engineering"

William B. Bonvillian, Director, Washington Office, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Two problems:

  • Where would services science fit in the federal R&D portfolio?
  • Can't just ask for money, need a research task agenda

Services is both hard and soft

  • Pending competitiveness policy in Congress includes services
  • Is this social science? Little research funding there, and poor fit
  • Is it educational research? So informed by research, that can't just think about curriculum
  • Is it traditional science? Silos, e.g. biolgoy
  • Probably need to look at this as an engineering problem, then can go to DoD or NSF

Have to walk in the door with serious research tasks in hand

  • One way: case studies, learning by doing
  • Some deep fundamental issues in learning by doing, and engineering has a history of doing this, integrating new fields
  • Could we embrace services science as a field that engineering could look at?
  • Key part of complex systems

If engineering integrates (and as an applied science, it has to), what is the research task, what foundational approaches?

One: complexity theory

  • Complex adaptive systems, where no master agent, and agents act in parallel, and rearrange building blocks
  • Agents learn and can evolve
  • Work between engineering's tradition of rational systems, and evolutionary systems

Two: engineering has missed some fields, e.g. when Japan launched lean production

  • Need to fill the gaps
  • Engineering Systems Division at MIT is starting to tackle complex systems
  • They transport and exchange not only materials, but information
  • In a globalized economy, will be big gaps and holes, may need a complex systems toolset
  • New economic imperative, can't just graduate engineers as in the past, need to join complex systems, products/services, social

Three: Integration as a toolset

  • Lester/Piore: Analysis vs. interpretation
  • Analysis assumes can see all of the pieces, which isn't true in complex systems, so need interpretation
  • Steve Jobs: creativity is just connecting things: process of experience, learning and connecting experiences
  • Need for engineering to integrate with social sciences

Four: Economics has begun to include complex systems

  • Neo-classical economics takes a physics attitude
  • But also need to understand dynamic systems
  • Economies as complex ecosystems


  • Engineering as an applied since may be a niche for services science, and has history
  • New fundamentals

Debasish Dutta

Debasish Dutta, Ph.D., Advisor, Office of the Assistant Director, Education and Human Resources, NSF 

No slides

Now back at U. Michigan, having returned from NSF

NSF is interested in integrated streams

NSF represents only 4% of the R&D funding by the government

  • It is 50% of non-life science research funding at universities

The foundation of NSF is the community

  • It's developed in partnership between universities and industry
  • Peer-reviewed agency

Important to NSF:

  • Interdisciplinary
  • Integration of curriculum and research
  • Global partnerships
  • Broadening participation, in under-represented minorities

Commitment, due to innovation policy, is to double NSF's budget over the next 10 years

  • Will fund 500 additional research grants

Federal University of Rio de Janeiro

Leandro S. Jesus, Professor, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro

Brasil is competing in a worldwide arena

Brazilian Industrial, Technological and Foreign Trade Policy


From government fund, improving the quality in user-friendly interfaces, for services

  • Standards work
  • EU view is in verticals
  • Interoperability
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