High performance computing comes to Western Mass.

Massachusetts Governor Duval Patrick and a coalition of university leaders, local politicians and senior technology executives announced the ongoing development and planning of a Green High Performance Computing Center (GHPCC) in Holyoke, Massachusetts. The Center will help bring long-term stability for the city and regional economies throughout Western Massachusetts, the governor said.

“The potential for job growth and advances in technology and research is unprecedented,” Gov. Patrick said in a statement. Announcement of the GHPCC in Holyoke comes ahead of the Governor’s Economic Summit scheduled October 27th where business, financial, education and public policy leaders will work to promote long-term economic recovery and job growth in the Commonwealth.

Holyoke Mayor Mike Sullivan said the public-private partnership is a working example of how to transform an industrial-based economy to one driven by green technology, clean energy and scientific development. “This collaborative effort to create a technology district in the heart of Holyoke will have significant benefits for the region, from new businesses to existing businesses, from community colleges to universities, from entry level job seekers to those with significant experience,” Mayor Sullivan said during the announcement.

High performance computing has become an essential part of academia, and a catalyst for the innovation of new products and services. The project website, InnovateHolyoke.com says in describing the technology:

Considered the “third leg of science” along with theory and experimentation, high performance computing uses a large number of extremely powerful and fast computers to carry out advanced computing in key areas of research such as life sciences, clean energy, and climate change.

The public-private partnership bringing the High Performance Computing Center to Holyoke includes the University of Massachusetts, Boston University as well as private sector partners EMC, Cisco and Accenture. The coalition has not only set dates and energy efficiency targets for construction of the GHPCC, but they have also established an organizational and business model for current and future partners; created a shared research agenda and education outreach; developed an operating budget and raised well over half of the project’s costs.

“We applaud and appreciate the tremendous amount of work that has occurred over the last 120 days from the diverse and exceptional list of partners – both public and private – involved in this initiative,” Paul Bosco, VP/GM of Video & Broadband at Cisco, said. Once this project is completed, we have no doubt that our regional science, technology, and innovation leadership and vision will be greatly enhanced through the creation of this unique smart and connected ‘innovation district’ built upon green and cost competitive energy, strong local talent, and exceptional fiber connectivity.”

The newly finished planning process will keep the project, first announced in June, on target for a completion in late 2011. Officials have said the project could total an investment of $100 million or more.

“[T]he bell has sounded today for all of us to make it happen and it will,” Holyoke Mayor Sullivan said.

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