Higher Education Consortium Undertakes NSF Middleware Initiative
A major coalition of U.S. university organizations and research centers will collaborate on a $12 million project to develop middleware — software that allows scientists and educators to share applications, instruments and data, and collaborate with their colleagues across the Internet.
The National Science Foundation (NSF) recently announced the program, called the NSF Middleware Initiative (NMI). NMI will create and deploy advanced network services that will make it easier for Internet users to access a wide range of resources available through high-performance networks. As a result, researchers and other interested users will be able to share scientific tools and access supercomputing systems and databases.
Two groups are receiving the funding awards. A team formed by Internet2 will include Educause and the Southeastern Universities Research Association (SURA). The second group — which includes the University of Southern California’s School of Engineering’s Information Sciences Institute (ISI), the University of Chicago, the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the University of California at San Diego (UCSD), and the University of Wisconsin at Madison — will establish the Grids Research Integration Deployment and Support Center.
“We believe that middleware and a comprehensive middleware infrastructure will be the key to creating a network infrastructure that can be used by the worldwide research community to share ideas, conduct research, and make new discoveries,” says Dr. Carl Kesselman of ISI.
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