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What’s New for the Federal HPC Community?

shutterstock_189293378 In the last days of July 2015, the White House released a new Executive Order (EO) focused on creating a National Strategic Computing Initiative (NSCI). The purpose of this EO is to establish a “cohesive, strategic effort within the Federal Government and a close collaboration between the public and private sectors” that will “maximize the benefits of high-performance computing (HPC) research, development, and deployment.”

This new national strategy established the National Strategic Computing Initiative and specifies four guiding principles to support U.S. efforts to expand its position as a world leader in the HPC discipline:

• Deploy and apply new HPC technologies for economic competitiveness and scientific discovery.
• Foster public-private collaboration, leveraging the expertise of government, industry and academia.
• Adopt a “whole-of-government” approach with involvement of key government HPC experience and collaboration of all departments and agencies.
• Develop a comprehensive technical and scientific approach to apply HPC research on hardware, software and development tools into development and operational programs.

The EO specifies the roles of a number of organizations involved in the implementation of this directive. First, it names three lead agencies for the NSCI, the Departments of Energy and Defense, and the National Science Foundation. In addition, two foundational R&D agencies, the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) are named, as well as five Deployment Agencies (NASA, FBI, NIH, DHS, and NOAA). The roles and focus areas for each organization are outlined and all are charged with ensuring that the evolving national strategy enable the “special requirements of their respective missions and influence the design of new HPC systems, software, and applications.”

Finally, the EO calls for establishment of an Executive Council, with co-chairs representing the U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) who will host regular meetings to review progress under this mandate, and in the near term, are to “establish an implementation plan to support and align efforts across agencies in support of the NSCI objectives” by the end of October, 2015.

Stay tuned for updates on the National Strategic Computing Initiative in the coming months, and for how specific technologies like In-Memory Computing, will be deployed as part of this national effort to support advanced technologies for lasting benefits across the public and private sectors.

 

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