Tulsa to host supercomputer

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Updated: 6/22/2012 4:43 pm Published: 6/21/2012 10:10 am

The Oklahoma Innovation Institute through its Tulsa Research Partners initiative announced the creation of its Tulsa Supercomputing Center and that it is in the process of placing an order for the largest community supercomputer in the United States and what will become a Top 25 academic supercomputer.

The supercomputer will be a catalyst for economic development available for use by academia, researchers, businesses and entrepreneurs, resulting in talent retention and attraction for the region.

Components of the supercomputer should arrive in Tulsa in eight to twelve weeks and will be assembled off-site before delivery and installation at its permanent location in One Technology Center through a strategic partnership with the City of Tulsa.

The computer should be operational by mid-September 2012 and will initially be run by a core staff of five people. The Oklahoma Innovation Institute will be a new tenant in One Technology Center with a term of 60 months beginning Sept. 1, 2012. The space used will be in the One Technology Center Data Center contingent on approval next week by the Tulsa Public Facilities Authority board.

“This is an historic day for the Oklahoma Innovation Institute and the City of Tulsa," said Institute Board Chairman Barry Davis. "The purchase of this incredible asset is a tangible representation of the collaborative, multidisciplinary research partnership formed by The University of Tulsa, University of Oklahoma-Tulsa, Oklahoma State University-Tulsa and Tulsa Community College with intentions to expand the collaboration to corporations and additional educational institutions."

Supercomputers are used by academics and businesses when normal computers are too slow. The Tulsa Community Supercomputer will enhance Tulsa area research and development in the sectors of advanced materials, aerospace, alternative energy, cyber-security, healthcare, life sciences, oil and gas, telecommunications and others. City and state government entities can also potentially benefit from using the Tulsa Community Supercomputer.

“From a research standpoint, the Tulsa Community Supercomputer puts Tulsa at a competitive advantage to attract many high-impact jobs to the Tulsa community,” Tulsa Mayor Dewey Bartlett said. “The City of Tulsa is very excited about this opportunity that will give Tulsa businesses and higher education institutions a chance to collaborate on projects for the betterment of Tulsa.”

The U.S. Economic Development Administration awarded the Oklahoma Innovation Institute an $800,000 grant last year to fund the supercomputer as part of a $6.7 million funding package for Phase I of the Institute’s development. Other funding sources include corporations, individuals and philanthropic partnerships such as Grace and Franklin Bernsen Foundation and The Oxley Foundation. The Indian Nations Council of Governments was instrumental in securing the EDA grant. The Tulsa Community Supercomputer and Tulsa Research Partners represent the Phase 1 initiative of the Oklahoma Innovation Institute. The Oklahoma Innovation Institute has so far raised $4 million toward the $6.7 million goal.

“The U.S. Commerce Department's Economic Development Administration is proud to invest in the development of the Tulsa Supercomputer, a powerful tool to support the work of innovators, universities, and entrepreneurs and help the region fully realize its economic potential," said Acting Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Matt Erskine. “This initiative will be critical to business growth, job creation, and enhancing our nation’s global competitiveness.”

The Tulsa Supercomputing Center along with Tulsa Research Partners is the centerpiece of a broader effort by the Institute over the last six years to build an innovative economy driven by its central theme of "Research to High-Impact Jobs." The center will serve universities, colleges, research centers, corporations, small business and entrepreneurial growth companies to address computational needs across multiple industries and disciplines.

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