The Networking and Information Technology Research and Development (NITRD) program’s National Coordination Office (NCO) is seeking input from the public on the forthcoming 2023 update of the Federal Cybersecurity Research and Development (R&D) Strategic Plan.

“The updated plan will be used to guide and coordinate federally funded research in cybersecurity, including cybersecurity education and workforce development, and the development of consensus-based standards and best practices in cybersecurity,” the Feb. 7 request for information says.

The Cybersecurity Enhancement Act of 2014 requires NITRD to develop and update a Federal cybersecurity R&D strategic plan every four years. The most recent version of the plan was released in December 2019.

NITRD’s 2019 plan highlighted cybersecurity R&D priority areas as artificial intelligence, quantum information science, trustworthy distributed digital infrastructure, privacy, secure hardware and software, and education and workforce development.

For this year’s iteration, the NITRD NCO is seeking public input on Federal priorities in cybersecurity R&D in seven areas:

  • New innovations that have the potential to greatly enhance the security, reliability, resiliency, trustworthiness, and privacy protections of the digital ecosystem;
  • Mature solutions in the marketplace that address the deficiencies raised in the 2019 Strategic Plan, and areas of research or topics of the 2019 Strategic Plan no longer need to be prioritized for Federally funded basic and applied research;
  • Areas of research or topics of the 2019 Strategic Plan that should continue to be a priority for Federally funded research and require continued Federal R&D investments;
  • Objectives not included in the 2019 Strategic Plan that should be strategic priorities for Federally funded R&D in cybersecurity;
  • Other scientific, technological, economic, legal, or societal changes and developments occurring now or in the foreseeable future that have the potential to significantly disrupt abilities to secure the digital ecosystem and make it resilient;
  • Further advancements to cybersecurity education and workforce development, at all levels of education, that should be considered to prepare students, faculty, and the workforce in the next decade for emerging cybersecurity challenges; and
  • Other R&D strategies, plans, or activities, domestic or in other countries, that should inform the U.S. Federal cybersecurity R&D strategic plan.

Submissions from the public are due on March 3. NITRD said it will consider the input provided when updating the Federal cybersecurity R&D strategic plan following the receipt of comments.

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Cate Burgan
Cate Burgan
Cate Burgan is a MeriTalk Senior Technology Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.