NSF, Microsoft award 13 research teams free cloud computing

Two-year awards worth combined $4.5M offer Windows Azure cloud platform access

Microsoft and the National Science Foundation, which in February announced plans  to fund a collaborative cloud computing program for researchers, this week have revealed the program's award recipients.

Thirteen awards worth a total of about $4.5 million will provide researchers investigating everything from cloud security to mobile cloud computing with free access to Microsoft's Windows Azure cloud computing platform for 2 years, along with access to support personnel who will help researchers exploit the platform. The Azure platform  is designed to host, scale and manage Web apps via Microsoft data centers.

Microsoft rolled out Windows Azure in February of 2010 as part of what the company has called a "longer-term play." It had  31,000 active subscribers and was hosting 5,000 applications after the first year of availability.

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Award recipients include:

*Cornell University (Kenneth Birman) - Building Scalable Trust in Cloud Computing

* J. Craig Venter Institute (Audrey Tovchigrechko) - Bettering Interactive Protein-Protein Docking

* State University of New York (SUNY) at Buffalo (Tevfik Kosar) - Enhancing Stork Data Scheduler for Azure

* University of California, San Diego (Kenneth Yocum) - Utilizing Continuous Bulk Processing

*University of Colorado Boulder (Richard Han) - Enabling Mobile Cloud Computing

*University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (Qiaozhu Mei) - Refining Language Models using Web-scale Language Networks

*University of North Carolina at Charlotte (Zhengchang Su) - Predicting Transcription Factor Binding Sites for Genes

*University of South Carolina Research Fund (Jonathan Goodall) and the University of Virginia (Marty A. Humphrey) - Managing Large Watershed Systems

*University of Southern California (Viktor Prasanna) - Tackling Large Scale Graph Problems

*University of Texas at Austin (Michael Walfish) - Storing Data with Minimal Trust

*University of Washington (Magdalena Balazinska) - Understanding Relational Data Markets

*Virginia Tech (Wuchun Feng) - Conducting Intensive Biocomputing

*Virginia Tech (Kwa-Sur Tam) - Effectively and Widely Using Renewable Energy Sources

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