White House and coronavirus

White House Calls for Proposals to Fight COVID-19

March 30, 2020
A consortium of industry, government and academic institutions offers free resources to speed up and scale the search for solutions.

With a global medical emergency at stake, the White House announced the launch of the COVID-19 High Performance Computing Consortium, a unique private-public collaborative that’s led by the White House, the U.S. Department of Energy and IBM, and includes government, industry and academic leaders. The aggregated crowdsourcing effort is intended to spur understanding of the COVID-19 virus and develop treatments and vaccines to help address infections.

Researchers are invited to submit COVID-19 related research proposals to the consortium, which will be reviewed and matched with computing resources from partner institutions. Proposals that respond to and mitigate the global emergency will be assessed on the basis of the public health benefit of the work, and place priority on projects that can ensure rapid results. 

The call for proposals comes as fighting COVID-19 requires a massive computational capacity and research in areas such as bioinformatics, epidemiology and molecular modeling. Consortium members are volunteering free computing time, while pooling efforts and harnessing the world’s most powerful, high-performance computing resources.

Time is of the Essence

Computing and AI have a major role to play in finding viable, judicious and timely approaches in understanding the virus, model the outbreak and accelerate drug discovery. Without the assistance, this caliber of research would take months to complete if performed on traditional computing platforms.

The pooled effort will round up an unprecedented amount of computing power—16 systems with more than 330 petaflops, 775,000 CPU cores and 34,000 GPUs.

These supercomputing resources are available to the wider research community as a way to focus resources and projects where computing is likely to produce relevant advances in one week to three months.

Scientists, medical researchers and government agencies will be able to plug into the supercomputing capacity and brainpower of consortium members, including IBM, the National Science Foundation (NSF), NASA, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) and multiple leading technology companies.

“Frontera and other NSF-funded advanced computing resources will enable the nation’s science and engineering community to pursue data science, computational modeling and artificial intelligence approaches to help us accelerate our understanding of COVID-19 and strategies for responding to the pandemic,” said France Cordova, director of the National Science Foundation.

Submit COVID-19 related research proposals to the consortium via this online portal.

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