Univ. of Nebraska Seeks $ 50 Million Federal Funding for HPC Center Expansion

Nebraska Innovation Campus (Craig Chandler / University Communications)

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln is seeking $ 50 million in federal dollars through the US bailout to fund the expansion of supercomputers at the university’s Holland Computing Center.

According to an article about his Nebraska today news site, the university’s proposals target $ 75 million in total – $ 50 million for the data center and $ 25 million for the complementary public-private partnership facility connected to the USDA National Center for Resilient and Regenerative Precision Agriculture; the article added that “the two projects … could work in tandem to develop innovation and fuel economic growth statewide.”

The expansion of HPC in the Holland Computing Center will include “an infrastructure designed to improve artificial intelligence and cybersecurity, enabling greater collaboration with the UN-based National Strategic Research Initiative and other cutting-edge partners,” as well as machine learning, human science. data, manufacturing and medicine, depending on the Nebraska today story.

The two proposed facilities would be based at Nebraska Innovation Campus, enabling greater collaboration between federal and university researchers and industry partners. Their combined work could directly benefit the state’s important agricultural industry.

The Holland Center currently offers, among other resources, an Intel Xeon-based cluster with 7232 cores in 452 nodes and an AMD-based cluster for large RAM compute needs.

The funding is believed to come from the American Rescue Plan, also known as the COVID-19 Stimulus Package, a $ 1.9 trillion economic stimulus bill that went into effect last March.

“The accompanying facility will allow us to leverage our cutting-edge research and make it commercially viable more quickly, putting it in the hands of Nebraska crop and livestock producers,” Green said. “And, coupled with the expansion of the Holland Computing Center, we will have significantly improved capabilities in precision agriculture, enabling producers to leverage data and make real-time decisions.

The USDA national center would house up to 60 federal researchers in partnership with the university’s Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources. The proposed companion building would serve as a start-up space, allowing for important collaborations between academic, federal, state and private experts.

The proposals were described by NU System President Ted Carter in October 5 testimony before the Appropriations Committee of the State Legislature.

“Our proposals will directly support the future of agriculture in Nebraska by supporting cutting-edge research to advance precision agriculture and more resilient crops,” Chancellor Ronnie Green said. “We will also provide additional high-speed computing resources to Nebraska companies and our researchers, with a specific focus on the growing opportunities for using artificial intelligence and critical cybersecurity needs. “

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