NSF awards $110 million to bring advanced cyberinfrastructure to nations scientists, engineers

The National Science Foundation (NSF) announced a $110 million award to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and 18 partner institutions to continue and expand activities undertaken through the Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment (XSEDE).

A virtual organization that has become the cornerstone of the nation’s cyberinfrastructure ecosystem, XSEDE, which received initial NSF funding in 2011, accelerates open scientific discovery and broadens participation in advanced computing by lowering the barriers for researchers, engineers and scholars to use and access computing resources. Under the new five-year award, called XSEDE 2.0, the organization will maintain existing services to its large user community and add innovative elements in response to ever-evolving user demands and supporting technologies.

“XSEDE 2.0 will continue to expand access to NSF-funded cyberinfrastructure resources and services available to the science and engineering community across the nation,” said Irene Qualters, director for the Division of Advanced Cyberinfrastructure (ACI) at NSF. “The nation’s discovery and innovation enterprise requires a dynamic and highly interoperable ecosystem that can anticipate and respond to new instruments, new computing capabilities, new research communities and new expertise. XSEDE 2.0 is a critical human component in NSF’s advanced computing infrastructure strategy, seeking to enable the broad and deep use of computational and data-intensive research to advance knowledge in all fields of study.”

The project aligns with the objectives of the National Strategic Computing Initiative (NSCI) — a whole-of-government effort that fosters a coordinated federal strategy in high-performance computing (HPC) research and deployment. NSF serves as one of the initiative’s three lead agencies.

XSEDE 2.0 supports NSCI’s goals. These include holistically expanding the capabilities and capacity of a robust and enduring national HPC ecosystem and contributing the educational and workforce development necessary to prepare current and future researchers and technical experts.

Read the full press release here.