Harvard’s cutting-edge collaboration on sustainable research computing

2 min read

With the installation of the first computers and a ribbon cutting, Friday’s opening event marked an important step in Harvard’s groundbreaking collaboration with four leading research universities, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Cisco, and EMC on the development of the Massachusetts Green High Power Computing Center (MGHPCC).

The MGHPCC ( is a first-of-its-kind facility and collaboration between government, industry, and public and private universities in the history of the Commonwealth. The MGHPCC provides a state-of-the-art, research and high-performance computing infrastructure, and was designed and developed with sustainability and efficient energy consumption as key principles.

Today, virtually no major breakthrough in science can take place without high-powered computation, which has become the “third leg” of scientific discovery, along with theory and experimentation. With this increased role of computation, the MGHPCC represents a critical piece of infrastructure that will allow Harvard and its partners to attract and retain the very best scientists, secure funding to support scientific research in the state, and continue to fuel the state’s innovation economy.

In addition to cutting-edge computational possibilities MGHPCC highlights Harvard’s commitment to the greening of IT as well. Harvard’s commitment to sustainability and a 30% cut in greenhouse gases by 2016 has led to efforts across the University to find sustainable solutions for energy consumption. The MGHPCC with its renewable hydropower and sustainable design represent one of the highest profile examples of the Green IT Subcommittee’s efforts to help Harvard achieve its goals.