Skip Navigation

Senator Alexander Announces Co-Sponsorship of High-Performance Computing Legislation

April 15, 2004

Washington, D.C.—At a major national policy forum yesterday in Washington D.C., hosted by Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU), U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN) announced that he will co-sponsor new legislation, S.2176, the High-End Computing Revitalization Act of 2004, to “put the United States at the forefront of high-performance computing that is critical to scientific advancements and commercial competitiveness.”

The Forum, entitled “High-Performance Computing: A Science Driven Economy,” was organized and hosted by Dr. Ron Townsend, President of ORAU, in partnership with Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and with participation from the United States Department of Energy (DOE), the National Science Foundation, and other federal agencies.

“As we look to the future and wonder about our jobs, our standard of living and how secure we’ll be in the world, so much of our advantage depends on science and technology,” Alexander said. “The central elements to our job-creating ability in America are: service, innovation, science, technology, education.”

“As a Tennessee senator, I am proud of the fact that the Center for Computational Sciences at Oak Ridge is so unique and important to our future. It will reestablish this country's leadership in high-performance computing,” Alexander said during the forum.

S.2176 will authorize the DOE to establish an Ultrascale Scientific Computing Capability, a minimum of $100 million each year for five years for the U.S. Secretary of Energy to establish scientific facilities, and a minimum of $10 million each year for five years for the Secretary to establish a high-end software development center.

Also at the ORAU forum, Congressman Zach Wamp, (R-TN) a member of the powerful House Appropriations committee, vowed to find additional funding in the U.S. House for high-performance computing research and innovation. Dr. Ray Orbach, Director of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science announced that the Advanced Scientific Computing Research Office (ASCR) of the Office of Science is accepting applications for leadership-class scientific computing capability in support of both ASCR and other Office of Science programs. A single award of $25 million will be given on April 15th to the best applicant.

John Marburger, Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, along with several other speakers reiterated the need for increased cooperation among not only federal agencies, but the nation’s universities, and the private sector as well, in order to realize the real economic impact of high-performance computing.

Jeff Wadsworth, Director of the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, noted that the Tennessee Valley Corridor serves as an excellent national model for this type of collaboration. The Tennessee Valley Corridor, which is a major national center for technology innovation, leverages the Valley’s abundant research and technology assets and institutions for maximum regional economic development and new job creation.

Specific presentations about the importance of high-performance computing to advancement in such fields as nanotechnology, biology, and climate science were also discussed at yesterday’s forum.

Other presenters at the forum included:

  • Wayne Clough, President of Georgia Tech
  • Karen Holbrook, President of The Ohio State University
  • Peter Freeman, Associate Director of the National Science Foundation’s Directorate for Computer and Information Science and Engineering
  • Warren Washington, Senior Scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research and Chair of the National Science Board
  • Deborah Wince-Smith, President of the Council on Competitiveness
  • Dr. Bill Madia, Executive Vice President of Battelle Memorial Institute
  • Uzi Landman, Regents’ Professor of Physics at Georgia Tech
  • Dr. John Wooley, Associate Vice Chancellor of Research at the University of California San Diego.

For more information on the forum visit the Oak Ridge Associated Universities Web site at

ORAU provides innovative scientific and technical solutions to advance national priorities in science, education, security and health. Through specialized teams of experts, unique laboratory capabilities and access to a consortium of more than 100 major Ph.D.-granting institutions, ORAU works with federal, state, local and commercial customers to advance national priorities and serve the public interest. A 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation and federal contractor, ORAU manages the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).

Media Contacts

Pam Bonee
Work: 865.576.3146
Cell: 865.603.5142

Wendy West
Work: 865.576.0028
Cell: 865.207.7953