Providing Competitive Advantage to Industry Through High-Performance Computing

September 30, 2011

Providing Competitive Advantage to Industry Through High-Performance Computing

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, IBM, and Other Partners Will Sponsor Workshop and Conference on Oct. 26-28 To Highlight Value of Supercomputing for Companies in New York State and Across the Nation

Leaders in academia, industry, and government will meet at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute next month to discuss strategies for leveraging the awesome power of supercomputers to drive growth, innovation, and competitive advantage for American companies.

The discussions are part of a three-day national workshop titled “Providing Competitive Advantage to Industry Through High-Performance Computing: Accomplishments and a Path Forward.” The conference, held by the New York State High Performance Computing Consortium (HPC2), will take place October 26-28 at Rensselaer. HPC2 is a partnership between science and education organization NYSERNet, Rensselaer, University at Buffalo, Stony Brook University, and Brookhaven National Laboratory.

See the program and registration information at:

“Although substantial progress has been made in recent years, the industrial use of HPC is not as advanced, widespread, or effective as it should be,” said conference chair John Kolb, chief information officer and the vice president for information services and technology at Rensselaer. “This unique workshop will provide a status report of New York’s forward-thinking efforts to boost innovation and competitiveness though investments in HPC, along with an opportunity to discuss what efforts are needed to further expand the impact of HPC in industry.”

The workshop’s executive summit, on Friday, Oct. 28, will feature a panel discussion led by Rensselaer President Shirley Ann Jackson. The conversation will explore topics surrounding the untapped potential of HPC in industrial competitiveness and innovation for manufacturing and other sectors. Confirmed participants are:

  • Dr. Shirley Ann Jackson (Moderator)
    President, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
  • Ms. Deborah L. Wince-Smith
    President and CEO, Council on Competitiveness
  • Dr. Robert F. Brammer
    Vice President for Advanced Technology, Northrop Grumman
  • Dr. David Galas
    Senior Vice President of Strategic Partnerships, Institute for Systems Biology
  • Dr. John E. Kelly
    Senior Vice President and Director, IBM Research

The first two days of the event will feature technical sessions highlighting successful and leading-edge applications of HPC and massively parallel computing in industry. Additional sessions will identify challenges related to realizing business value from HPC, and explore potential strategies to overcome these hurdles.

See the full schedule of technical sessions at:

“This workshop is particularly timely as a recent study on the use of HPC by manufacturers revealed a great disparity in the adoption of HPC by small to medium-sized manufacturers relative to large ones — 8 percent vs. 62 percent. While the adoption rate by large manufacturers speaks to the success of efforts to introduce HPC to industry, the adoption rate in smaller companies is a clear indication that additional effort is needed. This workshop will suggest ways in which this gap may be reduced, leading to increased productivity and competitiveness,” said Thomas Furlani, interim chief information officer and director of the Center for Computational Research at the University at Buffalo.

“It has been exciting to see the progress achieved with support from New York state for the HPC2 consortium, and the impact this has had on bringing HPC to commercial partners generating important competitive advantages,” said Reinhold Mann, associate laboratory director in charge of HPC at Brookhaven National Laboratory. “I look forward to this conference when HPC2 will highlight our collective accomplishments and also chart the course for the future of this successful enterprise.”

HPC2 is a New York state-funded partnership between NYSERNet, a private not-for-profit corporation created to foster science and education in New York, and three supercomputing centers: the Rensselaer Computational Center for Nanotechnology Innovations (CCNI), Stony Brook University/Brookhaven National Laboratory’s New York Center for Computational Sciences, and the University at Buffalo’s Center for Computational Research.

“This is about making New York more competitive to better support our science and technology economy. Through the HPC2, New York can provide education, outreach, and training in simulation-based engineering science, to increase support for research and development job growth,” said Edward Reinfurt, director of Empire State Development’s Division of Science, Technology and Innovation.

The goal of HPC2 is to increase New York state’s competitiveness in research and development, provide education, outreach, and training in simulation-based engineering science, and help support job growth in New York.

Along with HPC2, sponsors of the workshop are IBM, Empire State Development Corporation, NYSERNet, University of Buffalo, Stony Brook University, Brookhaven National Laboratory, Rensselaer, and the U.S. Army Research Laboratory’s Army Research Office.

For more information on high-performance computing research by HPC2 partners, visit:

Contact: Michael Mullaney
Phone: (518) 276-6161


For general inquiries:

About Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Founded in 1824, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is America’s first technological research university. Rensselaer encompasses five schools, over 30 research centers, more than 140 academic programs including 25 new programs, and a dynamic community made up of over 6,800 students and 104,000 living alumni. Rensselaer faculty and alumni include upwards of 155 National Academy members, six members of the National Inventors Hall of Fame, six National Medal of Technology winners, five National Medal of Science winners, and a Nobel Prize winner in Physics. With nearly 200 years of experience advancing scientific and technological knowledge, Rensselaer remains focused on addressing global challenges with a spirit of ingenuity and collaboration. To learn more, please visit