South Carolina EPSCoR/IDeA is making efforts to improve and sustain cyberinfrastructure in the state by partnering with existing initiatives, including the South Carolina Computing Consortium and the South Carolina Light Rail. The goal is to build a cyberinfrastructure network that will increase the state’s capacity to address problems in research, education, and workforce development. The EPSCoR/IDeA leadership advocate for recurring state appropriations to acquire and support a comprehensive cyberinfrastructure network consisting of high-performance computational equipment, technical support staff, as well as connectivity, operation, and maintenance fees. The three PhD-granting institutions will aggressively pursue private sector partnerships to share or donate dark fiber necessary for local access to the statewide Light Rail and National Lambda Rail. Connection to the National Lambda Rail will enhance the competitiveness of South Carolina’s researchers for those science and engineering programs that require a higher level of computational capacity. Students engaged in EPSCoR/IDeA-supported imaging, computational chemistry, environmental modeling, and informatics research will be more competitive for a cyber-enabled workforce.
The South Carolina Computing Consortium (SC3) is a collaborative effort among the three PhD-granting institutions, Hollings Marine Laboratory and the Savannah River National Laboratory to increase awareness of cyberinfrastructure-enabled research and education. Coordinated by an interdisciplinary group of faculty and information technology personnel, the Consortium has begun implementation of a cyberinfrastructure improvement plan. Phase-1 of the plan is complete with the connection of Clemson University to the National Lambda Rail. Phase-2 is establishment of the South Carolina Light Rail.
In 2007, the General Assembly of South Carolina appropriated $4.5 million to initiate the South Carolina Light Rail, which will provide connectivity and network operation services for a statewide high-speed fiber-optic network linking the three research universities. The SC Light Rail is the conduit that will tap into the Charlotte-to-Atlanta segment of the National Lambda Rail, which passes through the northwest corner of South Carolina. Closure of the cyber gap for South Carolina will provide faculty statewide with cutting-edge access that will enable development of competitive proposals to the National Science Foundation and other federal agencies.
The NSF's Cyberinfrastructure Council (CIC), based on extensive input from the research community, has developed a comprehensive vision to guide the Foundation's future investments in cyberinfrastructure. The resulting plan is the Cyberinfrastructure Vision for 21st Century Discovery. (pdf)