Secretary Gregory Bialecki, Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development
It may not be as far off as you think.
An important collaboration not mentioned in my last post is the recent announcement of plans to develop a high-performance computing center (HPCC) in Holyoke. The $100 million facility will be a world-class, energy-efficient computing and research center – the first of its kind in New England. But just as importantly, it represents an unprecedented coming together of the Commonwealth, private and public universities, and members of the private sector to work toward a common goal.
For several months members of the Patrick Administration have worked with MIT, UMASS, Boston University, EMC, Cisco Systems, and local leaders to create a vision for the center. What started as conversation, evolved into an effort to create a premier site for highly-efficient “green” computing with an associated academic-corporate research agenda that will put the Commonwealth at the forefront of the next generation of computing.
Last month, the partners signed a Letter of Intent, formally defining their vision for the center and beginning to create an action plan for the following 120 days.
Over the next few months the partners will flesh out details including: an organizational structure and operating model; how to tap into Holyoke’s abundance of affordable, renewable hydro-electric power; creating capital and operating financial plans, including public and private sources of funds; forming a statewide research agenda; educational and workforce training plans; definition of “green” components and the creation of project timetables.
The establishment of High Performance Computing Center, which will support academic and corporate initiatives, has the potential to become a critical component of a regional innovation agenda. It’s particularly exciting to see this 21st century initiative taking shape in one of the country’s first industrial cities.
The partners involved in the HPCC project reconvened this week to assess the progress being made in advancing this project, and the news is good.