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Home > iSGTW 22 July 2009 > Announcement - IBM receives award for World Community Grid


Announcement - IBM receives award for World Community Grid

 Business in the Community--WCG

Earlier this month, IBM received the Coffey International Award for its contributions to the World Community Grid. The award recognizes corporate programmes that have had a positive impact on at least one of the United Nations’ Millenium Development Goals.

“The scale, significance, power and potential of World Community Grid is impressive,” said Charles Duff, Chair of judges. “IBM has collaborated with a wide spectrum of research partners and encouraged businesses, community groups and individuals to provide free computational capacity to support international humanitarian projects.”

WCG gains its power from the aggregated spare computing capacity of 1.3 million personal computers belonging to 460,000 volunteers from over 200 countries. “The judges salute IBM’s programme and hope that the recognition conferred by this award will encourage individuals everywhere to join with IBM so that more research can be completed even faster as part of this exciting, inspiring and innovative development initiative,” Duff continued. “We also challenge the business world at large to sign up to World Community Grid and help grow its potential to achieve even greater impact on the Millennium Development Goals and the world’s most pressing needs.”

The Award was presented to Larry Hirst, Chairman IBM Europe Middle East Africa, by Prince Charles, the President of the annual Business in the Community Awards for Excellence, at a garden party reception on 6 July 2009.

“A lot of important scientific research isn't happening,” said Hirst. “It lacks the funding for the supercomputing capacity that is needed to execute large and complex calculations. World Community Grid changes the rules. It's free and available to both public and not for profit organisations for use in humanitarian research that might not otherwise be performed.

WCG is operated by IBM and provided for free to support not-for-profit humanitarian research projects. In total 14 projects are currently running or have completed their computational phase, involving teams of scientists from 35 research centres in six countries. Since 2004, WCG has provided research scientists with over 252,000 years of computer run-time and more than 290 million research results.

Projects cover the three big topics of nutrition, disease and environment, contributing to five of the eight Millennium Development Goals. More than 400 organisations are official partners of the WCG, and many thousands more teams have formed through the site.

For individuals, World Community Grid helps translate interest into awareness and engagement and promotes volunteerism. This collaborative technology enables people to contribute, altruistically or for deeper personal reasons. This is evidenced by the 200 to 250 new members who join each day, and by the level of dialogue IBM sees in this online community.

“The Grid is about large scale volunteerism - utilising an individual's unused computer capacity to address scientific problems - and in doing so accelerates research breakthroughs that underpin the Millennium Development Goals,” Hirst said. “This helps to make the world a smarter, better place.”


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