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First of its Kind Program Give Wisconsin Businesses Access to Supercomputer

$500,000 invested in new program to promote high-tech job growth

MADISON, December 9, 2013 – Wisconsin small- and medium-sized businesses will have the opportunity to gain access to specialized high-performance computing systems and services under a new program unveiled Monday by the Milwaukee Institute, the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) and Mason Wells.

The Milwaukee Institute, a non‐profit, public service organization, has received matching grants of $250,000 each from the WEDC and Mason Wells, a local private equity management firm, to fund the one-year program, a public‐private initiative that is the first of its kind in Wisconsin.

The Institute will use the funding to expand the availability of high-performance computing systems and services for small- and medium-sized businesses in Wisconsin. This is consistent with the Institute’s ongoing efforts to promote economic development in technology‐oriented businesses that need such resources to perform complex modeling and simulation studies for new products and services.

The initiative is expected to promote high-tech job growth in the state by accelerating the Institute’s long-term commitment to developing a statewide center of excellence in applied computational science, high-performance computing and mass data storage applications.

“Now – more than ever – it’s crucial that Wisconsin businesses begin to employ advanced technology, including computational science and specialized high-performance computing systems and services, in order to innovate in a rapidly changing and increasingly competitive environment,” said Gov. Scott Walker.  “Major companies and institutions, including Rockwell Automation and the Medical College of Wisconsin, now recognize the value of utilizing such resources and are already working with the Milwaukee Institute. This new program will encourage and enable smaller businesses to gain the benefits of access to the institute’s computing network – and will provide them with the technical support needed to use that network to spur innovation.”

“This is great news for companies and organizations that want to begin utilizing these specialized computing services, but otherwise wouldn’t have the resources or necessary training to do so,” said Reed Hall, secretary and CEO of WEDC. “This program – along with other advanced technology efforts supported by WEDC – will have a long-term positive impact on job growth and the state’s overall economy.”

“We are pleased to partner with the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation and Mason Wells to offer the Institute’s systems and services to assist innovative organizations in creating new or upgrading legacy products and services requiring access to modern modeling, simulation, visualization and analytics capabilities,” said Dr. Jay Bayne, founder and executive director of the Milwaukee Institute. “In the process, we expect to see improvements in the efficiency of engineering, research and development processes and the emergence of a new class of computational and data scientists.”

Companies can apply for grants of up to $50,000 to access the Institute’s specialized high-capacity computing and storage network called the MGrid. The Institute’s computational scientists will guide new users in the design, setup and use of research and analysis schemes for areas such as 3-D modeling, pattern analysis, and complex system dynamics forecasting. Grants will be awarded to a minimum of five companies.

The project will provide Wisconsin small- and medium-sized businesses – the largest job producers statistically – with a defined and financially viable pathway to grow their innovation programs through access to the MGrid.

The Milwaukee Institute will provide the funding to companies through a new Computational Science Challenge Grant Program. The grant Request for Proposal is available for download at www.mkei.org/rfp.  The deadline to apply for grant funding is January 31, 2014, and interested organizations can get more details at the Institute’s website, www.mkei.org, by emailing grants@mkei.org or by calling 414.727.6411.

An interactive webinar on the grant program will take place at 10 a.m. CST on Thursday, December 12.

This free webinar, open to all interested parties, will provide details on Challenge Grant objectives, application requirements, and information on the proposal review process.  Participants in the webinar will be able to ask questions via the webinar and by tweeting them with the hashtag #hpcwis.

To register for the session, visit http://inwisconsin.com/supercomputer

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