Silicon Mechanics Announces Open Entry for 6th Annual Research Cluster Grant
Philanthropy drives industry collaboration through donation of a high-performance computing cluster. Award Recipient to be announced in April 2017

Salt Lake City, UT, November 15, 2016 (Supercomputing, booth #1907)
Silicon Mechanics, a leading provider of servers, storage and high-performance computing solutions to the world's most innovative organizations, announced today at Supercomputing 2016 the call to entry for its 6th Annual Research Cluster Grant (RCG) program. The competition is open to all United States and Canadian qualified post-secondary institutions, university-affiliated research institutions, non-profit research institutions, and researchers at federal labs with university affiliations. One institution will be selected and awarded a complete high-performance computing (HPC) cluster.

"We and our program partners are excited to begin the search for our 9th Research Cluster Grant recipient, in our sixth year of this program," said Art Mann, Silicon Mechanics' Sr. Director of Education and Research Practice. "Through this program, our past awardees have accelerated a wide array of research in medicine, genetics, energy, and more. We know this critical HPC cluster will enable important research for a deserving new awardee in 2017."

Silicon Mechanics created the RCG in 2012 as a way of giving back to the educational community, as obtaining needed research funding for technology advancements continues to be challenging and can limit future impact at some educational institutions. In particular, the program is helping to jumpstart research efforts where access to high-performance computing is limited, outdated or was not previously available. The RCG program also provides institutions with an opportunity to showcase how collaboration across departments and researchers by providing cluster technology can positively impact research efforts through the use of cluster technology.

Previous RCG awardees include: The University of New Orleans (UNO) and The University of California, Merced in 2016; The City College of New York (CCNY) and Dordt College in 2015; Wayne State University in 2014; Tufts University in 2013; and Saint Louis University in 2012. Silicon Mechanics' partners currently committed to supporting this year’s grant include: Intel, NVIDIA, Mellanox, Supermicro, Bright Computing, HGST, Broadcom, Sandisk, Micron, and Seagate.

At the University of New Orleans, the HPC cluster it was awarded last year is being used to build on the strengths of the medicinal chemistry, cyber security, advanced materials design, information assurance and computational biology programs featured at the university. The HPC equipment is helping improve research in: big data analytical methods for cyber security and digital forensic purposes; the development of GPU-accelerated tools for computational chemistry, cyber-security and bioinformatics; and university resources using dockers and containers to solve scientific problems.

“The cluster has been a boon to our research,” said Dhruva Chakravorty, assistant professor of chemistry at UNO, and the lead investigator on last year’s awarded grant proposal. “We are now able to process data at rates that previously would not have been possible. It also enables us to analyze data up to 20 times faster. We fully expect this cluster to help us remain competitive for federal and state grants in the years to come.”

Submissions for the 2017 RCG will be accepted starting today through March 1, 2017. The grant recipient will be announced April 2017. Submissions will be reviewed for merit and for the potential impact the research may have on the institution's mission. Silicon Mechanics strongly encourages collaboration, within and across departments of a single institution, or across multiple institutions. Details on RCG rules, application requirements, and cluster technical specifications are available at www.researchclustergrant.com.