Organization Makes Case for Supercomputers
The U.S. Council on Competitiveness, a forum of industrial, university, and labor leaders focused on elevating national competitiveness in business, is calling for more aggressive use of supercomputers.
Two new reports released today during the group's annual High Performance Computing Users conference highlighted the competitive edge generated when industry can access supercomputing resources at universities sponsored by the federal government. The industry participants called these resources "national treasures" in their efforts to gain global competitive advantage, according to a statement released this week by the council.
Supercomputers are used often with large sponsorship from industry and governmental honchos, such as the “hybrid” supercomputer announced this week by IBM and AMD that will be installed at Department of Energy’s Los Alamos National Lab.
However, during a three-year project that studied the use of supercomputers, the Council on Competitiveness said it identified several barriers preventing fuller use of the technology.
"The Council on Competitiveness believes the nation that out computes is the nation that out competes," Deborah L. Wince-Smith, president of the Council on Competitiveness, said in a statement. "High performance computing is undervalued in many regions of the country, and public and private sector organizations are frequently unaware of the supercomputing resources available within their own economic regions."
Wince-Smith also announced the Council on Competitiveness is developing a plan for a national "innovation ecosystem" that will expand supercomputer collaboration between industry, government and higher education.
One study evaluated industrial partnerships with universities currently sponsored by the Department of Energy, through its National Nuclear Security Administration's Academic Strategic Alliance Program. The council said the industry participants reported access to these university supercomputing centers, and their experts “generated breakthroughs needed to create superior products for the private sector and government.” Industry participants included energy, aerospace, automotive and software companies.
The other study evaluated a National Science Foundation (NSF) program that helped U.S. businesses leverage university supercomputing resources supported by the federal government. Forty businesses that partnered with NSF-funded supercomputing centers around the country participated in the study. All of the businesses reported the partnerships helped boost innovation, which the companies said was critical to increasing their competitive edge in the global economy, the council reported.
The Council on Competitiveness worked with research firm IDC to complete the studies. Participants in the council’s latest conference included university presidents, senior technology leaders in the federal government, and the executive officers of some of the nation's leading businesses, including Microsoft, Pratt & Whitney, Wal-Mart, Procter & Gamble and DreamWorks Animation.