Pleasanton Weekly

News - July 8, 2011

Livermore Lab acts on 'open campus' initiative

New computer center allows public to tap into advanced research, programs

by Jeb Bing

In an initiative that aims to boost the country's economic competitiveness, Lawrence Livermore and Sandia national laboratories have opened the first phase of their new 110-acre "open campus" that will provide greater public access to research and advanced computer programs developed by the labs.

Last week, federal, state and local representatives joined managers from the two laboratories in dedicating the Livermore lab's new High Performance Computing Innovation Center.

"This new center opens a new era in Lawrence Livermore's collaboration with universities and industry," said LLNL's Director George Miller. "We have a long history of mutually beneficial partnerships. These efforts will expand with the innovation center, which will create even greater opportunities for collaboration with corporate and academic partners to meet the nation's important challenges through advances in technology."

The high performance computing center is part of the Livermore Valley Open Campus (LVOC), a complex located on Greenville Road between the two laboratories. In addition to LLNL and Sandia, the open campus partnership also includes the U.S. Department of Energy and the National Security Administration.

"The LVOC will position the two laboratories to more fully address their broad national security mission," explained James (Buck) Koonce, a senior advisor at the Livermore Lab.

He said the national agencies and the labs "recognize that many national security issues are too important and complex to leave out the broader participation by the talented scientist and engineers in universities and industries.

"We need their contributions to expand and deepen the basic research related to national security in areas such as transportation, energy cyber security, high-performance computing and nonproliferation."

Congressman Jerry McNerney (D-Pleasanton) agreed. Speaking at the dedication ceremony of the new High Performance Computing Innovation Center, he pointed out that the missions of the two neighboring laboratories are changing.

"That means collaborating with local businesses by sharing the scientific expertise and technology developed by the laboratories with businesses not only in terms of national security but in terms of production and manufacturing," he said.

"The Tri-Valley and the Bay Area represent the most innovative corner of the entire world and this collaboration we're seeing today will allow us to maintain that position," he added. "This will benefit not only our national security but also our local region by creating jobs."

Congressman John Garamendi (D-Walnut Grove), whose district includes both the Lawrence Livermore and Sandia laboratories, called the opening of the new computing center "a special day" for the region and the country.

"With this computing center here and with this open campus and the research that will be blossoming in this area we are going to grow the economy here in the Tri-Valley area and beyond," he said. "We now utilize the research tools we have here to develop new businesses. This will be a key part of the future of the entire region."

LLNL Director Miller said the new computing innovation center represents the first step in the creation of the Livermore Valley Open Campus collaboration zone being developed on the Livermore lab's east side.

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