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NLM's Next Generation Internet (NGI) Awards

This Web page provides information about the Federal Next Generation Internet Initiative and NLM participation in that initiative.

About the NGI Initiative

The Federal Next Generation Internet (NGI) Initiative was launched in October 1996 by President Bill Clinton and Vice President Al Gore. It was a three-year (FY 1998-FY 2000) initiative that was part of what was then the Federal High Performance Computing and Communications (HPCC) Program, which in FY 2005 became the Federal Networking and Information Technology Research and Development (NITRD) Program.

The initiative had two planning documents:

  • NGI Concept Paper (July 1997), which states that the NGI vision is "In the 21st Century, the Internet will provide a powerful and versatile environment for business, education, culture, and entertainment. Sight, sound, and even touch will be integrated through powerful computers, displays, and networks. People will use this environment to work, bank, study, shop, entertain, and visit with each other. Whether at the office, at home, or on travel, the environment will be the same. Security, reliability, and privacy, will be built in. The customer will be able to choose among different levels of service with varying prices. Benefits of this environment will include a more agile economy, a greater choice of places to live or work, easy access to life-long learning, and better opportunity to participate in the community, the Nation, and the world."
  • NGI Implementation Plan (February 1998)

The HPCC agencies that participated in the NGI initiative were DoD/DARPA, NSF, DOE, NASA, NIST, and NLM. The NGI Initiative had the following goals:

  • Goal 1. Experimental Research for Advanced Network Technologies
    • Included Network Growth Engineering, End-to-End Quality of Service, and Security
    • DARPA, NIST, NASA, and NSF participated
  • Goal 2. Next Generation Network Fabric
    • Goal 2.1: High Performance Connectivity -- NSF, NASA, and DoD
    • Goal 2.2: Next Generation Network Technologies and Ultrahigh Performance Connectivity -- DARPA, NSF, and NASA
  • Goal 3. Revolutionary Applications

NLM participated in Goal 3. As noted in the NGI Implementation Plan's Executive Summary, NLM brought extensive experience in medical research and great strength in health care applications.

NGI progress was tracked in HPCC Program Blue Books (since FY 2006 known as Supplements to the President's Budget). Successor activities to the NGI Initiative are conducted by NITRD's Large Scale Networking Working Group.

Three 1997 Congressional hearings preceded the passage and October 28, 1998, signing into law of the Next Generation Internet Research Act of 1998 (P.L. 105-305). This Act, which amended the High-Performance Computing Act of 1991 (P.L. 102-194), called on the President's Information Technology Advisory Committee (PITAC) to review the implementation of the NGI Initiative. That review appears in the PITAC's Year 2000 Report to Congress Reviewing the Next Generation Internet Program and Related Issues.

NLM participation in the NGI Initiative

In 1998, NLM announced what became a three-phase NGI research program to develop innovative medical projects that demonstrate the application and use of NGI capabilities:

  • Quality of service
  • Medical data privacy and security
  • Nomadic computing
  • Network management
  • Infrastructure technology for scientific collaboration

In October 1998, NLM announced the award of 24 NGI Phase I contracts to medical institutions and companies. Announcement and project summaries.

In early FY 2000, NLM awarded 15 NGI Phase II contracts for projects to be implemented in local testbed settings. Project summaries.

On May 9, 2002, NGI presentations and demonstrations were made to the LHNCBC Board of Scientific Counselors. These presentations and demonstrations are at

NGI Reverse Site Visit Presentations were held August 26-28, 2003. These presentations are at Webcasts and videos from the presentations are at

The third phase of NLM's NGI research program was its Scalable Information Infrastructure Program that was begun in FY 2003. About SII and SII project summaries.

NLM-funded National Academy of Sciences study

NLM funded a National Academy of Sciences study to assist in developing an NGI that would meet the Nation's health requirements. The Academy's Computer Science and Telecommunications Board examined ways in which the Internet could be used to support applications in clinical care, consumer health, public health, health care finance and administration, professional education, and biomedical research. The study's February 2000 report is Networking Health: Prescriptions for the Internet.


The private-sector Internet2 program began at about the same time as the NGI Initiative.