IBM announced deals with Rice University and Rutgers University to deliver the company’s Blue Gene supercomputer systems to schools for scientific research and more.
IBM has had a busy week with
academia, announcing partnerships with both Rice University and Rutgers
University to advance supercomputing at their institutions and in their home
states of Texas and New Jersey, respectively.
On March 30, IBM (NYSE: IBM
) and Rice University announced a
partnership to build the first IBM Blue Gene supercomputer in Texas. Rice also
announced a related collaboration agreement with the University of Sao Paulo
(USP) in Brazil to initiate the shared administration and use of the Blue
supercomputer, which allows both institutions to share the benefits of
the new computing resource.
IBM officials said Rice
faculty will use the Blue Gene to further their own research and to collaborate
with academic and industry partners on a broad range of science and engineering
questions related to energy, geophysics, basic life sciences, cancer research,
personalized medicine and more.
The collaborative agreement
securing Brazil's share of time on Rice's Blue Gene was signed in Sao Paulo
March 27 by a delegation that included Rice President David Leebron and USP
President Joao Grandino Rodas. Leebron is traveling with a delegation led by
Houston Mayor Annise Parker. The delegation includes Rice Provost George
McLendon, Greater Houston Partnership (GHP) President and CEO Jeff Moseley and
other GHP members.
partnership have a unique place in Rice's history as a pre-eminent research
university, and it is fitting that Rice begins its second century with two
innovative partnerships that highlight the university's commitments to
expanding our international reach, strengthening our research and building
stronger ties with our home city," Leebron said in a statement.
USP is Brazil's largest
institution of higher education and research, and Rodas said the agreement
represents an important bond between Rice and USP. "The joint utilization
of the supercomputer by Rice University and USP, much more than a simple
sharing of high-tech equipment, means the strength of an effective partnership
between both universities," he said.
Mayor Parker, a 1978 Rice
alumna, said, "When I was at Rice, it looked inward. Today, it looks
outward through this agreement. It strengthens not only Rice University but
also the city of Houston."
Rice's new Blue Gene
supercomputer, which has yet to be named, is slated to become operational in
May. It is based on IBM's POWER processor technology, which was developed in
part at the company's Austin, Texas, labs. Rice and IBM shared the cost of the