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* The competition run by Grid Computing Now!, a government funded knowledge transfer network, is supported by Microsoft, Intellect, The British Computer Society (BCS), The 451 Group, Memset, the National e-Science Centre (NeSC), Oxford e-Research Centre (OeRC), WWF, and The Technology Strategy Board
* Competition entrants propose ideas for using grid computing to help solve an environmental issue
* The competition has two entry tracks; professional and non-professional
* Prizes include; free one-year membership to the BCS, a mentor from industry to help the winner progress their idea, a week long internship at the National e-Science Centre at the University of Edinburgh, a Sony VAIO or Xbox 360 and a one-year limited subscription to The 451 Group’s EcoEfficient and Grid services research.


London July 3rd 2008 - Grid Computing Now!, a government funded knowledge transfer network, today launched the competition “Grid computing for a greener planet”. The competition, which is open to UK residents, will invite participants to harness the power of grid to help minimise the environmental impact of human activity.



Entrants will be judged primarily on their solution’s feasibility, scope and creativity. Grid computing, a service for sharing computer power and data storage capacity over the Internet*, can be applied to any environmental issue that stands to benefit from a huge amount of raw processing power to calculate massive data sets. Entrants have the chance to be very creative.



The basic information, entry forms and rules of the competition will be posted on the Grid Computing Now! website where entrants will be asked to log in and create an account. There will be three stages to the competition: an initial proposal of 1,000 words, an apprentice workshop; where finalists can speak to grid architects and academics to develop their ideas, and the final presentation at The British Computer Society on December 1st 2008.



Ian Osborne, Grid Computing Now! Director, says “We were very pleased with the success of the first competition and scope of entries. We expect an even greater response to this competition which has a very clear focus; to harness the power of grid computing to help tackle environmental issues.”



Bob Harvey, Chair of the BCS Carbon Footprint Working Group, says ”Ensuring that IT professionals contribute effectively to a more sustainable future is vitally important. Grid Computing has a role to play in this and BCS believes that it is an area in which the UK can excel.”



Dennis Pamlin, Global Policy Advisor, WWF says “All too often IT is portrayed as an environmental villain, but through this competition participants have the chance to showcase examples of the great work being done within the sector to combat the environmental challenges we all face.”



The first grid computing competition, launched in 2006, invited participants to solve any type of problem. Entries ranged from using grid for asteroid tracking intelligence to exploiting the Internet to help combat terrorism. The previous winner, Gopok Goteng, proposed the use of grid’s processing power to crunch real time CCTV footage and biometric data to identify potential high-risk incidents. After winning the competition he went on to present his solution at Microsoft's Annual European Research and Innovation Day in Brussels.





Notes to editors

The entry deadline for the first stage of the competition is 1st September 2008
Judges include:
Anne Trefethen, Oxford e-Research Centre (OERC)
Kate Craig Wood, Managing Director, Memset
Jerry Fishenden, National Technology Officer, Microsoft UK
John Barr, Research Director, The 451 Group
Liam Newcombe, BCS Data Centre Specialist Group
Dennis Pamlin, Global Policy Advisor, WWF
John Whittall, Lead Technologist for Environmental Sustainability, Technology Strategy Board


*definition taken from CERN



Grid Computing Now!

Grid Computing Now! is a Knowledge Transfer Network funded by the Technology Strategy Board that began in February 2005 with the aim to accelerate the adoption of grid computing in the public and private sector. With over 1000 members registered on our website, Grid Computing Now! raises awareness, provides background education and connects prospective users with experts and suppliers to promote business orientated, efficient and sustainable computing infrastructures. www.gridcomputingnow.org



BCS

The British Computer Society (BCS) is the Chartered industry body for IT professionals, the Chartered Engineering Institution for Information Technology and a Chartered Science Institution. With our rapidly growing membership, BCS is playing an increasingly pivotal role in leading the development and implementation of world class standards for the IT profession through innovative products, services and support.

Through our specific “Professionalism in IT” programme, BCS is leading and building IT professionalism to levels which are currently only seen in more traditional long standing professions such as law, medicine, and accountancy but which will increasingly become the de facto standards for IT professionals.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.


Press Contact: Amy Gooch agooch@hoffman.com 0207 4708763

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