Blue Collar Computing Receives HPCwire 2006 Readers' Choice Award

November 14, 2006 -- The Blue Collar Computing program at the Ohio Supercomputer Center (OSC) today received the prestigious HPCwire 2006 Readers’ Choice Award for “Best Collaboration Between Government and Industry.” HPCwire is considered the leading source for global news and information covering the ecosystem of high productivity computing.

OSC launched its Blue Collar Computing program in 2004. The program provides industrial users who lack high performance computing (HPC) resources, training, and expertise with the tools they need to enhance their companies’ competitiveness. Blue Collar Computing extends advanced technology use to smaller businesses and manufacturers at a no- or low-cost rate so they can become even more productive and competitive in the expanding global marketplace.

Before OSC’s Blue Collar Computing program, such cutting-edge supercomputing technology was primarily available to larger corporations with substantial R&D budgets. Now small- and medium-sized companies can access HPC technologies for product and process design, with an emphasis on virtual prototyping through modeling and simulation.  Companies can then use HPC applications to produce virtual prototypes of parts and products, reducing the time and effort to bring a product to market.  Blue Collar Computing’s services, training, outreach and partnerships make supercomputing a reality for allindustrial clients.

For instance, Edison Welding Institute (EWI), NASA Glenn, and the Ohio Aerospace Institute have teamed up with OSC to investigate ways in which their clients can increase their HPC use in a cost-effective manner. In the partnership with EWI, OSC is providing remote portal access of HPC systems and software to EWI welding applications — a tremendous cost-saving resource that will reach engineers at over 200 companies.

Large manufacturers such as Procter & Gamble and Goodyear are working with OSC to bring their suppliers up to speed with current modeling and simulation technologies.  Procter & Gamble uses computational algorithms from the aeronautics industry to keep Pringles chips from flying off of the production line and infuses modeling and simulation in many of their products.  If their suppliers are able to gain access to HPC resources and expertise, the product chain will become more streamlined.

“We see this award as validation of the strong partnerships forged to help companies build better products, cut production costs, quickly solve assembly line problems, and streamline overall efficiency,” said OSC Executive Director Stan Ahalt. “Ultimately, the small- and medium-sized companies that become competitive as a result of this collaborative program will be the biggest benefactors of these national efforts. The HPCwire award reaffirms our commitment to serving these smaller companies.”

HPCwire is considered the leading source for global news and information covering the ecosystem of high productivity computing.  Each year, HPCwire polls its international database of readers, contributing editors, and industry luminaries to determine the winners of these prestigious awards.  Several thousand people were polled this year by random sample to determine those chosen.

“This year, the awards place more emphasis on recognizing leading end-user organizations for their innovative application of HPC technology and products in their business operations,” said Tom Tabor, publisher of HPCwire

"Once again, HPCwire is proud to serve as the voice of the global HPC community as we present the 2006 Readers’ and Editors’ Choice Awards.”

The Blue Collar Computing program is recognized by its federal partners as an effective economic competitiveness tool.   A number of national agencies and organizations, such as the National Science Foundation Blue Ribbon Panel on Simulation-Based Engineering Science and the President’s Information Technology Advisory Committee, espouse widespread adoption of modeling, simulation, and HPC expertise to help put U.S. industry on competitive footing in the world economy.

In addition, the Blue Collar Computing Bill was introduced June 2006 in the U.S. Congress to create Multidisciplinary Computing Software Institutes nationwide to focus on the aggressive use of HPC for productivity, design and profitability.

OSC is also an active partner in developing the National Innovation Collaboration Ecosystem (NICE) initiative.  The NICE initiative is lead by the Council on Competitiveness and University of Southern California Information Sciences Institute to empower companies to innovate “using any domain specific application running at any available HPC computing center.”  The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has funded a Blue Collar Computing case study in conjunction with Edison Welding Institute to determine business and technical requirements behind NICE. 

According to Ahalt, HPC’s advantages to science and engineering have not transferred to many of the industries that would benefit dramatically from an infusion of computation.  With the availability of supercomputers and by forging strong partnerships among government, software vendors, manufacturers and HPC centers, the U.S. could better capitalize on its manufacturing knowledge by leading with design innovations.

For more information about OSC’s Blue Collar Computing program, visit www.bluecollarcomputing.org or contact Dave Hudak, Blue Collar Computing Lead, at 614/247-8670 or dhudak@osc.edu.

About the Ohio Supercomputer Center

The Ohio Supercomputer Center is a catalytic partner of Ohio universities and industries to enable Ohio to compete for international, federal, and state funding, focusing on new research and business opportunities.  Funded by the Ohio Board of Regents, OSC provides a reliable high performance computing and high performance communications infrastructure for a diverse statewide/regional community including education, academic research, industry, and state government.  OSC promotes and stimulates computational research and education in order to act as a key enabler for the state's aspirations in advanced technology, information systems, and advanced industries.  For additional information visit: http://www.osc.edu.