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SDSC to Support Next Generation Internet in California

he next generation of Internet technology promises a global network that can instantly deliver streaming video, massive databases, and complex applications to business and home users. To give U.S. companies a head start at developing applications that take advantage of tomorrow’s networks, the Southern California Next-Generation Internet Applications Center (CalNGI) has been established at SDSC by CommerceNet, a global, not-for-profit organization leading the advancement of e-commerce worldwide. SDSC was selected as one of two California research institutions to host CommerceNet’s NGI centers, which will promote the development, incubation, and demonstration of new business and consumer applications.

The selection of the two applications centers shows our commitment to keep California at the forefront in the effort to convert research and development into commercially viable high technology,” California Governor Gray Davis said. “The Next Generation Internet program will help companies be more productive, innovative and create jobs in the Golden State.”

CalNGI at SDSC, in collaboration with the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (Cal-(IT)2), will focus on applications in the areas of telemedicine, telemanufacturing, wireless networking, network and application performance measurement, distance learning, Web marketing, peer-to-peer networking, and high-performance distributed computing.

“This new center will allow us to provide Californians access to advanced computational resources previously available only through federal programs to national user communities,” said Mike Vildibill, director of CalNGI and deputy director of SDSC. “These activities will complement SDSC’s mission to deploy leading-edge information technologies for bioinformatics, environmental sciences, and critical data-driven application areas.”

The first grant in CommerceNet’s Next Generation Internet (NGI) Application Development Program was made in April 2001 to Aldea Communications, an Internet firm located in Carlsbad, California. As part of this first NGI Grant, Aldea will develop a “Next Generation Internet Quality of Service Policy Management Tool” and work with CalNGI to test and demonstrate this tool. Tom Perrine, SDSC’s manager of Security Technologies, and Phil Andrews, SDSC’s Advanced Systems manager, are also leading a project to develop secure and scalable system logging for the next-generation Internet.

“I am very pleased to see this award go to SDSC,” said Larry Smarr, director of Cal-(IT)2. “Our institute’s faculty at UCSD and UC Irvine is conducting basic and applied research on future telecommunications technologies—photonics, multi-lambda switching, wireless internet, microsensors—which through our collaboration with SDSC can assure continual upgrading of the capabilities of CalNGI.”

The CalNGI center complements ongoing network activities at SDSC to extend the performance of high-speed networks such as Internet2’s Abilene network and conduct and coordinate efforts to maintain and extend the infrastructure of the global Internet. The recently announced TeraGrid, with its cross-country backbone operating at 40 gigabits per second is just the latest step toward this high-bandwidth future.

“SDSC is a world leader in developing and applying advanced technologies to scientific problems,” said Fran Berman, director of SDSC. “Scientists working on the frontiers of biology and biomedicine, environmental sciences, and other fields depend on SDSC’s computer networks to transfer data between remote sensors, research laboratories, and information archives across the country.”

UC Berkeley will host the Northern California NGI Center, in collaboration with the Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society (CITRIS) and the Fisher Center for Information Technology and Marketplace Transformation (CITM) in the Haas School of Business. Through a partnership with the Division of Science, Technology, and Innovation, CommerceNet has granted $700,000 to the universities for the start-up and operating costs of the two NGI centers. These centers will provide a collaborative environment to accelerate the development of e-business applications, encourage new Internet-related start-up businesses, and test new NGI infrastructure services.

In addition to funding the NGI Applications Centers, CommerceNet is awarding grants ranging from $100,000 to $300,000 to companies and individuals developing NGI applications. The grant recipients will use CalNGI and the Northern California Center to develop, test, and showcase their NGI applications. CommerceNet expects between 25 and 40 small businesses to use the Application Centers in the next year, and each center will work with a minimum of eight to 10 development projects annually.

“California’s Next Generation Internet Applications Centers will be unique enablers for NGI application development,” said Mark Resch, president and CEO of CommerceNet. “By supporting the NGI centers and NGI applications development, the CommerceNet Consortium will have a lasting impact not only on the Next Generation Internet, but also on the California economy.” —DH

Mike Vildibill

Kevin Walsh, Jay Dombrowski, Tom Hutton
Rochell Bernsdorf