Originally appeared in March 19, 2004 HPC Wire


At a major national policy forum in Washington D.C., hosted by Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU), U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN) announced that he will co-sponsor new legislation, S.2176, the High-End Computing Revitalization Act of 2004, to "put the United States at the forefront of high-performance computing that is critical to scientific advancements and commercial competitiveness."

The Forum, entitled "High-Performance Computing: A Science Driven Economy," was organized and hosted by Dr. Ron Townsend, President of ORAU, in partnership with Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and with participation from the United States Department of Energy (DOE), the National Science Foundation, and other federal agencies.

"As we look to the future and wonder about our jobs, our standard of living and how secure we'll be in the world, so much of our advantage depends on science and technology," Alexander said. "The central elements to our job- creating ability in America are: service, innovation, science, technology, education."

"As a Tennessee senator, I am proud of the fact that the Center for Computational Sciences at Oak Ridge is so unique and important to our future. It will reestablish this country's leadership in high-performance computing," Alexander said during the forum.

S.2176 will authorize the DOE to establish an Ultrascale Scientific Computing Capability, a minimum of $100 million each year for five years for the U.S. Secretary of Energy to establish scientific facilities, and a minimum of $10 million each year for five years for the Secretary to establish a high-end software development center.

Also at the ORAU forum, Congressman Zach Wamp, (R-TN) a member of the powerful House Appropriations committee, vowed find additional funding in the U.S. House for high-performance computing research and innovation. Dr. Ray Orbach, Director of the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Science announced that the Advanced Scientific Computing Research Office (ASCR) of the Office of Science is accepting applications for leadership-class scientific computing capability in support of both ASCR and other Office of Science programs. A single award of $25 million will be given on April 15th to the best applicant.

John Marburger, Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, along with several other speakers reiterated the need for increased cooperation among not only federal agencies, but the nation's universities, and the private sector as well, in order to realize the real economic impact of high-performance computing.

Jeff Wadsworth, Director of the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, noted that the Tennessee Valley Corridor serves as an excellent national model for this type of collaboration. The Tennessee Valley Corridor, which is a major national center for technology innovation, leverages the Valley's abundant research and technology assets and institutions for maximum regional economic development and new job creation.

Specific presentations about the importance of high-performance computing to advancement in such fields as nanotechnology, biology, and climate science were also discussed at yesterday's forum.

Other presenters at the forum included:

  • Wayne Clough, President of Georgia Tech
  • Karen Holbrook, President of The Ohio State University
  • Peter Freeman, Associate Director of the National Science Foundation's Directorate for Computer and Information Science and Engineering
  • Warren Washington, Senior Scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research and Chair of the National Science Board
  • Deborah Wince-Smith, President of the Council on Competitiveness
  • Dr. Bill Madia, Executive Vice President of Battelle Memorial Institute
  • Uzi Landman, Regents' Professor of Physics at Georgia Tech
  • Dr. John Wooley, Associate Vice Chancellor of Research at the University of California San Diego.

About ORAU: Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU) is a university consortium leveraging the scientific strength of major research institutions to advance science and education by partnering with national laboratories, government agencies, and private industry. Established in 1946, ORAU members are found in 28 states, plus the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the United Kingdom. Headquartered in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, ORAU also has an office in Washington, D.C.

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