Rep. Lipinski Helps Launch New Supercomputer at University of Illinois
Rep. Dan Lipinski (IL-3) was joined today by state, local, and University of Illinois officials, as well as business leaders, for the launch of the Blue Waters supercomputer at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications in Urbana-Champaign. The congressman, in delivering the keynote address at an event commemorating the launch, highlighted the supercomputer’s importance to not only scientific research but also job creation in the state. As one of the world’s fastest supercomputers, there is great potential for the creation of manufacturing and high-tech jobs by attracting and developing private businesses.
“With this launch of the Blue Waters computer in Urbana-Champaign, along with the Mira computer located in my district at Argonne National Laboratory, Illinois now has two of the fastest supercomputers in the world,” said Rep. Lipinski, Ranking Member of the Research Subcommittee of the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology. “These supercomputers not only put us at the cutting edge of scientific research, they also provide an economic boost locally and for the state. Manufacturers will be drawn here to have an edge over their international competition, with access to the kind of computing power that allows them to develop prototypes faster and at a lower cost. That means jobs. Supercomputers such as Blue Waters also expand the frontiers of technology, leading to innovative new products. That also means jobs.
“Investments in projects such as Blue Waters pay off in the long run by keeping the United States at the forefront of scientific research and helping promote home-grown innovation and jobs.”
Blue Waters was made possible through a National Science Foundation grant in 2007. With a sustained speed of more than 1 petaflop and capable of performing more than 1 quadrillion calculations per second, Blue Waters is one of the world’s most powerful supercomputers and dedicated to open scientific research, meaning researchers, scientists and businesses throughout the country can qualify for computing time 365 days a year through an application process.
In 2010, Rep. Lipinski wrote the section of the America COMPETES Act that authorized programs like the one that funded the Blue Waters project.
“From understanding the early universe, to mapping the brain, to modeling the development of biological systems and new drugs, to improving our ability to accurately forecast dangerous storms and weather events, the scientific applications for supercomputers such as Blue Water are endless,” Rep. Lipinski said. “Blue Waters is a reminder that Congress needs to get to work on another America COMPETES bill so we can keep America at the head of the pack.”
Joining Rep. Lipinski at today’s event were Gov. Pat Quinn, former Rep. Tim Johnson (IL-15), University of Illinois President Robert Easter and University of Illinois Chancellor Phyllis Wise.
For more information about Blue Waters, visit www.ncsa.illinois.edu/BlueWaters.
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