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Today, IBM submitted the following letter to Congressional leaders advocating for the creation of a Science Readiness Reserve, underscoring a key pillar of IBM CEO Arvind Krishna’s letter to President-elect Biden.
November 25, 2020
Dear Members of Congress,
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to rage across the country, IBM believes that America needs a new approach to confront global emergencies. It is time for us to create a Science Readiness Reserve, a national body of leading scientists and private sector resources that can be quickly mobilized to bring the benefits of AI and leading technologies to the country for the next crisis.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, our scientific community has been racing against the clock to save lives. We must be ready to confront whatever challenge we may face next and accelerate our scientific preparedness. That starts with enabling researchers in private and public sectors to pool their scientific and technical expertise. The Science Readiness Reserve is an opportunity to create a new type of institution for our times, recognizing that the scientific capacity of our nation is distributed between government organizations, academia, foundations and the private sector (it is worth remembering that the private sector is responsible for 70% of the annual $600B of R&D expenditures of the U.S.).
As a leader in AI, high-performance computing, and quantum computing with more than 3,000 researchers across the globe we understand the value of collaboration and partnership. We are proud of our work launching the COVID-19 High Performance Computing Consortium, which has brought together tech industry leaders, national labs and universities at an unprecedented scale and given researchers access to the world’s most powerful computing resources.
We ask that you formally gather interested parties in Congress to study how to turn the concept of a Science Readiness Reserve into a reality (e.g. launching a Task Force). This study would be the first step in standing up a national guard of scientific experts who would be on duty to deploy cutting-edge and emerging technologies like high-performance computing, artificial intelligence, genomic sequencing and biotechnology, and quantum computing to address crises in public-health, climate and natural disasters, food and energy security, and much more. This group would collaborate closely with the government to speed up response and recovery efforts.
This is a critical moment. We have an opportunity to advance science or we risk falling behind. But we cannot do it alone. At IBM, we stand ready to participate and commit both leadership and resources to this effort, tapping into the passion and talent of our researchers, and leveraging our hybrid cloud infrastructure to bring the best of open-source software, AI, high-performance computing and quantum computing to bear.
If you would like to discuss this concept in greater detail, we would be happy to find time to meet. We look forward to working with you to make a Science Readiness Reserve a reality.
Dr. Dario Gil, Director of IBM Research
Chris Padilla, Vice President for Government and Regulatory Affairs, IBM