Computer systems and networks (CompSys) are the backbone of the digital infrastructure and, thus, are essential for all critical economic sectors and societal aspects of the Netherlands. Every bit of stored data and every computational task rely on a computer system to run on and, increasingly, on a network to reach it.
Future proof digitalization: ICT research & development now
Future-proof digitalization requires ICT research and development (R&D), now. The Dutch Government and societal stakeholders have identified an urgent need to expand economic and social activities by leveraging and integrating ICT in their knowledge, processes, expertise, and capabilities. This approach, of profound digitalization , can make current activities much more valuable, enable new development that can transform society, and lead to unprecedented efficiency and thus universal access to ICT for the first time in history. Without action, the Netherlands could lose its leadership role in the CompSys area, ICT services may lose their flexible, trusted, and secure status in the digital economy, ICT researchers in the Netherlands could be brain-drained to other countries, and the existing shortage of ICT-skilled people could grow. We are not alone: our main allies and competitors in Europe, including Germany and France, and in the world, including the US
Figure 1. (Horizontals) Foundational research themes in computer science and networking research
in the Netherlands, and (Verticals) Multi-disciplinary advances with outstanding impact on society.
This is why, for the past year a large, cross-institutional community of scientists and technology experts (30+ co-signatories, 7 universities, 5 research institutes and organizations, etc.) have been working on a Manifesto on the future of Computer Systems and Networking research in the Netherlands (CompSysNL). On behalf of CWI, Pablo Cesar, group leader of our Distributed & Interactive Systems group has signed the Manifesto.