RDA extends particular thanks to the main financial supporters of the 2nd RDA plenary Meeting – NIST & NSF and to Microsoft Research for sponsoring the Evening Reception.
National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), U.S. Department of Commerce
Founded in 1901 and now part of the U.S. Department of Commerce, NIST is one of the nation's oldest physical science laboratories. Congress established the agency to remove a major handicap to U.S. industrial competitiveness at the time—a second-rate measurement infrastructure that lagged behind the capabilities of England, Germany, and other economic rivals. Today, NIST measurements support the smallest of technologies—nanoscale devices so tiny that tens of thousands can fit on the end of a single human hair—to the largest and most complex of human-made creations, from earthquake-resistant skyscrapers to wide-body jetliners to global communication networks.
National Science Foundation (NSF), US
The National Science Foundation is an independent federal agency created by Congress in 1950 "to promote the progress of science; to advance the national health, prosperity, and welfare; to secure the national defense…" With an annual budget of about $7.0 billion (FY 2012), we are the funding source for approximately 20 percent of all federally supported basic research conducted by America's colleges and universities. In many fields such as mathematics, computer science and the social sciences, NSF is the major source of federal backing.
Founded in 1991, Microsoft Research is dedicated to conducting both basic and applied research in computer science and software engineering. More than 1,100 brilliant scientists and engineers focus on more than 55 areas of computing and openly collaborate with leading academic, government, and industry researchers to advance the state of the art of computing, help fuel the long-term growth of Microsoft and its products, and solve some of the world’s toughest problems through technological innovation. Microsoft Research has expanded over the years to seven countries worldwide and brings together the best minds in computer science to advance a research agenda based on an array of unique talents and interests. Microsoft Research operates in Redmond, Wash.; Cambridge, Mass.; New York City; Mountain View, Calif.; Cambridge, U.K.; Beijing; and Bangalore, India; and conducts research at Advanced Technology Labs Cairo; Advanced Technology Labs Europe in Aachen, Germany; Advanced Technology Labs Israel; FUSE Labs in Redmond; the eXtreme Computing Group in Redmond; and Station Q in Santa Barbara, Calif. More information can be found at http://research.microsoft.com.