LONDON, July 7 /PRNewswire/ --
IBM (NYSE: IBM (http://www.ibm.com/investor)) was awarded the prestigious Coffey
International Award for its application of technical expertise in innovative
ways to address the greatest societal challenges of our time at the annual
Business in the Community (BITC) Awards for Excellence yesterday.
(Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20090416/IBMLOGO )
IBM earned the award for World Community Grid
(http://www.worldcommunitygrid.org/), in essence the virtual equivalent in
processing power to a Top 10 supercomputer devoted to humanitarian research.
World Community Grid gains its power from the aggregated spare computing
capacity of 1.3 million PCs belonging to 460,000 volunteers from over 200
countries. For participating members, some with perhaps limited time for
volunteering, it provides the opportunity through the World Community Grid to
make a significant contribution to tackling the Millennium Development Goals.
The Award was presented to Larry Hirst, Chairman IBM Europe Middle East Africa,
by HRH The Prince of Wales, President of BITC, at a garden party reception
hosted by The Prince at his home, Clarence House.
Charles Duff, Corporate Development Manager, Coffey International Limited and
Chair of judges said: The scale, significance, power and potential of World
Community Grid is impressive. IBM has collaborated with a wide spectrum of
research partners and encouraged businesses, community groups and individuals to
provide free computational capacity to support international humanitarian
projects. The judges salute IBM's programme and hope that the recognition
conferred by this award will encourage individuals everywhere to join with IBM
so that more research can be completed even faster as part of this exciting,
inspiring and innovative development initiative. We also challenge the business
world at large to sign up to World Community Grid and help grow its potential to
achieve even greater impact on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the
world's most pressing needs.
World Community Grid is a powerful example of IBM's recently announced smarter
planet vision in which systems from utility grids to healthcare can be made to
work better, as a result of increased data, interconnected networks and greater
According to Larry Hirst of IBM, A lot of important scientific research isn't
happening. It lacks the funding for the supercomputing capacity that is needed
to execute large and complex calculations. World Community Grid changes the
rules. It's free and available to both public and not for profit organisations
for use in humanitarian research that might not otherwise be performed.
He continues, The Grid is about large scale volunteerism -- utilising an
individual's unused computer capacity to address scientific problems -- and in
doing so accelerates research breakthroughs that underpin the Millennium
Development Goals. This helps to make the world a smarter, better place. At IBM
we appreciate winning the BITC Coffey International Award, and it is my hope
that through the award awareness will be increased, more people will join the
grid, and more scientists will submit research proposals.
World Community Grid works when an individual's computer is on but not in active
use. It performs a small piece of complex scientific research, receiving and
returning the results via World Community Grid. There is no need to leave an
idle computer turned on, but while it's active and a user takes a break for even
a few seconds, World Community Grid harnesses the spare capacity. The
accumulation of the idle time in short spurts from millions of computers is the
equivalent of one of the world's top 10 supercomputers.
World Community Grid is operated by IBM and provided for free to support
not-for-profit humanitarian research projects. In total 14 projects are
currently running or have completed their computational phase, involving teams
of scientists from 35 research centres in six countries. Projects cover three
big topics of Nutrition - Disease - Environment. These projects are contributing
to five of the eight Millennium Development Goals.
IBM's investment in World Community Grid has provided research scientists with
over 252,000 years of computer run-time at no cost, and delivered over 290
million research results since 2004. It enables research which would not
otherwise be possible because of the time it would take for the calculations to
run on the scientist's own computers. As a result scientists can focus on
clinical work to develop the real world applications as opposed to IT, and by
significantly accelerating research, develop new approaches and move more
quickly into subsequent phases of testing.
More than 400 organisations are official partners of the WCG, and many thousands
more teams have formed through the site. World Community Grid provides public
and community organisations such as UNICEF, United Way and Aids Action Committee
with a resource to generate public awareness and engagement around their own key
issues. It also provides commercial organisations with another means for them
and their employees to contribute to a variety of social issues. Organisations
such as BankInter, Serco and Ogilvy are partners on the Grid.
For individuals, World Community Grid helps translate interest into awareness
and engagement and promotes volunteerism. This collaborative technology enables
people to contribute, altruistically or for deeper personal reasons. This is
evidenced by the 200-250 new members who join each day, and by the level of
dialogue IBM sees in this online community.
World Community Grid exemplifies how the application of IBM's leading edge
technology and expertise delivers exceptional value. It epitomises one of IBM's
three values: Innovation that matters for our company and the world.
To find out more, or to volunteer your computer go to
Notes to editors Details of major projects to date: -- Fight AIDS@Home (with The
Scripps Research Institute): identified over 40 potential drug candidates in 6
months instead of 5 years. Scientists are now proceeding with laboratory work to
develop new drugs. -- Discovering Dengue Drugs - Together (with The University
of Texas Medical Branch and the University of Chicago): identified new potential
compounds and are now proceeding with laboratory work. -- Nutritious Rice (with
University of Washington): identifying rice strains with potential to provide
better yields, adapt to climatic changes and improve disease and pest resistance
- 15 million results returned since launch in May 2008. -- Help Defeat Cancer
(with The Cancer Institute of New Jersey, which is a Center of Excellence of the
University of Medicine and Dentistry-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School): helped
prove the scientists' more accurate technique for identifying cancer and won a
competitive US$2.5 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to
further deploy its system. -- The Clean Energy Project (with Harvard
University): discovering materials to create a more efficient and lower cost
solar cell - 1.1 million results returned since launch in December 2008. -- Help
Fight Childhood Cancer (with Chiba Cancer Center Research Institute and Chiba
University in Japan): discovering drug treatments for neuroblastoma, the most
common cause of death in children with solid tumors - 4.9 million results
returned since launch in March 2009. -- African Climate (with the University of
Cape Town): Improving climate modeling designed to help African farmers with
crops. Has recently completed its data collection and research analysis will now
begin. Contact: Joe Hanley IBM Communications Off: +44-(0)20 8844 6972 Mob:
+44-(0)78 0350 2318 email@example.com
Joe Hanley, IBM Communications, Off: +44(0)20-8844-6972, Mob:
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