Microsoft and the National Institute of Informatics of Japan Collaborate on Joint Program About Cloud Computing Research
Sept. 30, 2010
Program will allow university researchers free access to advanced cloud computing resources.

REDMOND, Wash., and TOKYO — Sept. 30, 2010 — Today Microsoft Corp. and Japan’s National Institute of Informatics (NII) announced a joint program that will allow university researchers free access to advanced cloud computing resources. The participating researchers are part of the “New IT Infrastructure for the Information-Explosion Era” project that NII supports known as the Info-Plosion Project, which is centered on the creation of novel technology for efficient and trusted information retrieval.

The goal for the program is to allow researchers to find creative new ways to explore the potential of the cloud and to invent scalable, secure information systems that also enhance the user’s online experience. Microsoft shares this vision and will donate substantial Windows Azure cloud resources to the Info-Plosion Project through its global cloud research engagement project, which is focused on supporting the use of cloud computing in research by making simple yet powerful tools available that any researcher can use to extract insights by mining and combining diverse data sets.

Today, scientists are operating in a world dominated by data, thanks to increasingly inexpensive sensors and a growing trend toward collaborative data projects. Analyzing and synthesizing this mass of data remains a challenge. By extending the capabilities of powerful, easy-to-use PC, Web and mobile applications through cloud services, Microsoft seeks to broaden researcher capabilities, foster collaborative research communities, and accelerate scientific discovery.

Windows Azure provides on-demand compute and storage to host, scale and manage Web applications on the Internet through Microsoft datacenters. Microsoft researchers and developers will work with grant recipients to equip them with a set of common tools, applications and data collections that can be shared with the broad academic community, and also provide its expertise in research, science and cloud computing.

“Cloud computing can transform how research is conducted, accelerating scientific exploration, discovery and results,” said Dan Reed, corporate vice president, Technology Strategy and Policy and director of the eXtreme Computing at Microsoft. “These grants will also help researchers explore rich and diverse multidisciplinary data sets on a large scale.”

Dr. Masao Sakauchi, director general at the National Institute of Informatics, said, “It is essential that future academic research should form strong ‘symbiotic-style’ relationships with other academic areas. Cloud computing is a powerful tool that allows researchers to collaborate and share computing resources and research results necessary for this type of collaborative research. I appreciate that Microsoft has given us a valuable opportunity to prove this vision.”

About Microsoft Research

Founded in 1991, Microsoft Research is dedicated to conducting both basic and applied research in computer science and software engineering. Researchers focus on more than 55 areas of computing and collaborate with leading academic, government and industry researchers to advance the state of the art. Microsoft Research has expanded over the years to eight locations worldwide and a number of collaborative projects that bring together the best minds in computer science to advance a research agenda based on their unique talents and interests. Microsoft Research has locations in Redmond, Wash.; Cambridge, Mass.; Silicon Valley, Calif.; Cambridge, England; Beijing, China; and Bangalore, India, and also conducts research at the Cairo Microsoft Innovation Center in Egypt; European Microsoft Innovation Centre in Aachen, Germany; and the eXtreme Computing Group in Redmond. Microsoft Research collaborates openly with colleges and universities worldwide to enhance the teaching and learning experience, inspire technological innovation, and broadly advance the field of computer science. More information can be found at http://www.research.microsoft.com.

About NII

As Japan's only general academic research institution seeking to create future value in the new discipline of informatics, the National Institute of Informatics (NII) seeks to advance integrated research and development activities in information-related fields, including networking, software, and content. These activities range from theoretical and methodological work to applications. As an inter-university research institute, NII promotes the creation of a state-of-the-art academic-information infrastructure (the Cyber Science Infrastructure, or CSI) that is essential to research and education within the broader academic community, with a focus on partnerships and other joint efforts with universities and research institutions throughout Japan, as well as industries and civilian organizations.

Founded in April 2000, the NII marked its new beginning in April 2004 as a member of the Research Organization of Information and Systems.

About the “New IT Infrastructure for the Information-Explosion Era” Project

Information created by people has increased rapidly since the year 2000, and now we are in a time which we could call the “information-explosion era.” This Grant-in-aid for Priority-area Research, led by Dr. Masaru Kitsuregawa (University of Tokyo, Institute of Industrial Science, Professor) aims to establish the following fundamental technologies in this information-explosion era: novel technologies for efficient and trustable information retrieval from explosively growing and heterogeneous information resources; stable, secure, and scalable information systems for managing rapid information growth; and information utilization by harmonized human-system interaction. This priority area also aims to design a social system that cooperates with these technologies. Moreover, it maintains the synergy of cutting-edge technologies in informatics.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

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