Letter from Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-CA), Rep. Mike Honda (D-CA), and Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), to Rep. Jerry Lewis (R-CA) and Rep. John Murtha (D-PA).
Re: Funding for DARPA's Focus Center Research Program.
Date: April 8, 2002.
Source: Office of Rep. Eshoo.

Congress of the United States
House of Representatives
Washington, D.C. 20515

April 8, 2002

The Honorable Jerry Lewis
U.S. House of Representatives
2112 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, D.C.  20515
The Honorable John P. Murtha
U.S. House of Representatives
1016 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, D.C.  20515

Dear Chairman Lewis and Representative Murtha,

We respectfully request that you include in the FY 2003 Defense Appropriations Bill increased funding for the Focus Center Research Program (FCRP). The Administration proposes almost $6 million in cuts to this unique public-private partnership. We believe the FCRP deserves full-funding of $10 million in FY2003.

The purpose of the FCRP is to concentrate the talent and resources of teams of universities in areas of advanced, long-term research and development that are of priority to both government and industry. Industry provides the bulk of the funding, contributing three dollars to every one federal dollar. All of this funding goes directly to universities conducting critically important research and development.

Continuing microelectronics technology advances are increasingly difficult to make. As semiconductors become ever denser, faster, and cheaper, they approach physical limits that will prevent further progress with current chip making processes. If research breakthroughs are achieved and new processes allow historic trends to continue, in 15 years semiconductor memory costs will be a fraction of today's costs and microprocessors will be considerably faster.

Advances in semiconductor technology enable higher performance in all sectors of our economy, including national defense. The benefits to the national economy from these productivity improvements far exceed the added investments in science required to realize these benefits. The research conducted in this program is long range (typically eight or more years out) and is essential for the timely development of replacement technology for the current chip making process.

We therefore are requesting your support for full funding of $10 million within the Government-Industry Cosponsorship of University Research program within the Office of the secretary of Defense.

Thank you for your consideration of our request. We believe this is a critical investment which will bring great returns for our country.


Reps. Anna Eshoo, Zoe Lofgren, Michael Honda