by M. Villano

Where the IT Research Money Goes

Jul 01, 20011 min

  • Globus, a $10 million network to enable scientists to share large sets of data with colleagues far and wide.
  • Data modeling and networking software for physicists researching gravity waves, the gravitational forces generated by celestial bodies. The software will allow scientists to analyze quadrillions of data points from the information they obtain and share on Globus. The price tag? A cool $11.8 million.
  • Purchase of a new $45 million supercomputer capable of making 6 trillion calculations per second.

Other agencies, including the Department of Defense and the National Institutes of Health (NIH), also bankroll basic IT research. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is studying embedded systems, high-bandwidth networks on demand and multilingual voice recognition, says former Director of the IT Office Shankar Sastry (Sastry left DARPA last spring to chair the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Department at the University of California at Berkeley).

NIH, meanwhile, is doling out dollars for technology that aids image-guided surgery and supercomputers that will be able to compute relationships between molecules in the human genome, according to National Center for Research Resources Associate Director Michael Marron. Most of these are eight- to 12-year initiatives that, like the Internet, have inherent commercial appeal.