National Science Foundation/Office of Science and Technology Policy


Getting Started and Motivating Participation

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is a small, sharply focused agency with intense interaction with the public it serves, the research and education community, and the general public. It has direct communication with the academic community through temporary visiting staff, external advisory committees, and peer reviews. In addition, NSF has a history of partnership with industry and is at the core of federal enterprises of computing and networking research and applications programs. Thus, NSF proposed to serve as a model reinvention agency and as a reinvention lab.

Reinvention Lab

In response to the Vice President's invitation to collaborate on reinventing government, six employees have been designated to lead the reinvention effort within NSF. This group coordinated the development of the issues for submission to the National Performance Review team and recommended using NSF as a reinvention lab. Doing this will enable the agency to accelerate its present innovation activities in a staged fashion within and across organizational units. This strategy already has yielded:

--widespread adoption of electronic interaction in and outside of the agency,

--an advanced computer-based information infrastructure, and

--worldwide network communications accessible on every desk.

Looking Ahead

NSF seeks to employ its resources to sharply expand its emerging innovations:

--electronic commerce, such as proposal submission and review, financial transactions, and networked information services;

--flexible workplace (remote computer-based office operations and essential programs across NSF and other agencies);

--electronic meetings such as teleconferences; and

--showplace laboratories (joint labs and metacenters).

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