NCSA gets $200k from NSF to push simulation further into industry

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This week NCSA announced that it has won an NSF grant to understand the gaps between the needs of industry today and the capabilities of simulation-based engineering and science

NCSA LogoThe National Science Foundation has awarded $200,000 to the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) to investigate the use of simulation-based engineering and science in industry and to report on areas where scientific advances are required to achieve gains in simulation capability. This Early-Concept Grants for Exploratory Research (EAGER) project will be carried out over the next 15 months by NCSA’s Private Sector Program staff.

NCSA will host a series of meetings and surveys to capture the perspectives of current industry users about the challenges they face in using simulation more extensively in their businesses

“Private sector engagement at NCSA has revealed significant opportunities for bringing science and industry together more completely,” said Merle Giles, leader of NCSA’s Private Sector Program. “It is our intention to document the industrial challenges sufficiently so as to bring scientists from both the public and private sectors together to pursue breakthroughs that are likely to lead to economic development.”

NCSA will focus on large original equipment manufacturers (companies that manufacture products or components that are then sold and retailed under the purchasers brand name). The Ohio Supercomputer Center and the Information Sciences Institute at the University of Southern California have received related grants from NSF’s EAGER program and will focus on small and medium enterprises.

I was unaware of the EAGER program, and I think its a good thing if it actually pushes a boundary. We already know, having asked dozens of times over the past decade and gotten the same answer every time, that skills, software, and cost of entry are the major challenges that industrial users identify when discussing obstacles to adoption of modeling and simulation. What we need is information that is specific enough to form a nucleation site for ideas that address the challenges to start to crystallize and fall out of solution.