U.S. Senators Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Bob Corker (R-TN) today called the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) $65 million federal grant to the University of Tennessee an historic investment that will attract more high paying jobs and boost the standard of living along the Oak Ridge Corridor while enhancing the state’s profile as a national leader in industry and innovation.
The $65 million grant will be used to build Kraken, a state of the art supercomputer that will enhance academic, scientific and engineering research.
“This is the largest research and development grant ever given to the University of Tennessee,” said Alexander, a former University of Tennessee president. “The reason why the National Science Foundation has made this huge investment is because of what’s already there – the Oak Ridge Laboratory, the Tennessee Valley Authority and the University of Tennessee, one of the top research universities in the country. What this National Science Foundation grant does is permit us to have a new supercomputer that works side by side with the existing capacity in the Department of Energy so that Tennessee can become an even greater center for supercomputing. It will increase the brain power concentration along the Oak Ridge Corridor, giving us a greater capacity to attract more smart people who create jobs for us that will raise our standard of living and make our country more competitive with India and China and Europe and other parts of the world.”
“This $65 million grant – the largest research grant ever received by the University of Tennessee – is tremendous news for our state and our country,” said Corker. “I’m very proud of the University of Tennessee and Oak Ridge National Laboratory for making our state a world center for high-performance computing. The energy and materials research made possible by this grant will bring tremendous benefit to Tennessee’s economy and to American industry and innovation.”
The NSF’s Office of Cyber Infrastructure issued the grant which includes $30 million for computer hardware and $35 million towards operation of the system over the course of the next five years. UT will lead a partnership called the National Institute for Computational Sciences (NICS), which will facilitate use of the new supercomputer. NICS will be housed in the UT-ORNL Joint Institute for Computational Sciences.