Governor Andrew Cuomo received a standing ovation as he entered the University of Rochester's Center for Computational Innovation on Friday.
The center was a priority project of the Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council. The new data security center is designed for very sophisticated computer systems.
"We've been very fortunate by partnering with IBM to get state of the art Blue Gene/Q computers, fastest in the world, 209 teraFLOPS, and this will enable us to be internationally recognized as a health science computing center," said Dr. Brad Berk, URMC CEO.
The Blue Gene/Q puts the University of Rochester Medical Center on the cutting edge in solving health problems. It will process and interpret research data that are generated in U of R labs.
"I have a favorite phrase; it's turning data into knowledge. I think that's what the center is all about, creating the knowledge that we can use to improve health care, improve treatment of infectious disease, improve treatment of traumatic brain injury and bring down the cost of health care. That's really what this is about," said Dr. David Topham, URMC Health Sciences Center Director.
Many times we hear about technological advances taking away jobs. In this case, the super computer is expected to be a job creator.
U of R president Joel Seligman says the data center and super computer will generate 900 new jobs in addition to attracting more than $200 million in new research funding over the next ten years.
"We've focused on hiring scientists, hiring computer scientists to be able to work effectively with the machines. IBM has worked at giving us incredible discounts on the machines. The state's given us the support to be able to make the partnership possible," Seligman said.
The state, through the Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council, contributed five million dollars towards the $100 million project. Besides the addition of new scientists, a combination of new faculty and staff will be hired to operate the center.