Rethinking NSF's Computational Ecosystem for 21st Century Science and Engineering


September 26, 2018

For nearly four decades, NSF has effectively supported the broad availability and innovative uses of leading edge computational resources to accelerate advances in science and engineering. These NSF investments have spanned discipline-specific instruments and facilities; computational systems of varying capabilities and architectures optimized for different applications; virtual organizations for allocating resources and interfacing with users; and network backbones connecting and providing access to these resources. Recent profound advances across science and engineering interests and priorities, as well as in enabling technologies, contribute to the current view of cyberinfrastructure supporting research as appropriately embodying a model of an "ecosystem" constituting interconnected, appropriately synergistically evolving, elements.

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The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering. In fiscal year (FY) 2019, its budget is $8.1 billion. NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and other institutions. Each year, NSF receives more than 50,000 competitive proposals for funding and makes about 12,000 new funding awards.

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