The New York State Foundation for Science, Technology and Innovation (NYSTAR) announced yesterday that it has awarded a 3 year, $3M grant for the development of the High Performance Computation Consortium (HPC2).
The consortium will provide hands on assistance, through their scientists and engineers to the broader New York State user community, both to ease access to supercomputing resources at the institutions and to guide users in the utilization of HPC. This award will allow for the computational scientists hosted in one of three centers, to be deployed to any location in the state to provide assistance in the use of the HPC assets to businesses and academic users.
Consortium members include Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Stony Brook University, the University at Buffalo and the New York State Education and Research Network (NYSERNet).
NYSTAR is (as far as I can tell) publicly funded, and exists to help companies navigate the funding vacuum between technology prototype and productization. New York has a troubled recent past with publicly funded HPC investments. Early this year a controversy erupted over the $80M supercomputing investment the NYC school system made as the New York Post ran a story headlined “SCHOOLS COMPUTER AN $80M ‘DISASTER'” (all caps their choice, not mine).
I think it’s pretty clear that I’m a huge fan of HPC investments – I am a card-carrying member of the HPC faithful after all. But one has to be careful to avoid investing in an HPC infrastructure for any reason other than it being the right tool for a particular, specific job. They are simply too expensive to play “build it and they will come” with public money.
Hopefully NY has it right this time.