UNCG, N.C. A&T Awarded $500K from NSF to Build High Speed Network


UNCG, N.C. A&T Awarded $500K from NSF to Build High Speed Network

EAST GREENSBORO, N.C. (July 2, 2019) – UNC Greensboro (UNCG) and North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University (N.C. A&T) have been awarded a two-year National Science Foundation (NSF) grant of $499,912 to build a high-speed research data network that will both connect the two largest universities in the Triad with each other and enable faster, easier sharing of research with scientists around the world. 

The Gate City Research Network (GCRN) is one of only 11 NSF Campus Cyber Infrastructure awards in the state of North Carolina and is the first award in the state for the category of Network Infrastructure.  Approximately $358,000 of the award will be managed directly by UNCG, while approximately $142,000 will be managed by NC A&T as a “sub-award.”

The GCRN will create a multi-institutional network supporting research activities through a  clean, low-latency, high-speed internet connection. This will give researchers access to dedicated, high performance computing resources while helping to eliminate issues posed by using existing networks that also carry administrative, entertainment (i.e. movie streaming, gaming), and other non-scientific data. The GCRN will enable fast transfers of the enormous amount of data that fuels innovative research.  This will significantly increase the fundamental research capacity in disciplines such as chemistry, nano-engineering, nano-, computer-, and data science.

“This award represents a significant step in our shared journey to help advance the capabilities and reputation of our universities and our region as world-class leaders in research,” said UNCG Chancellor Franklin D. Gilliam, Jr. “A state of the art network will help fuel innovation, spark economic growth in our region, and enable us to deliver meaningful scientific breakthroughs. It will also further deepen the existing partnership between UNCG and N.C. A&T, helping to connect our outstanding scientists with collaborators around the world.”

Added N.C. A&T Chancellor Harold L. Martin Sr., “This is an exciting opportunity for researchers at N.C. A&T, UNCG and their collaborators from around the globe. My expectation is that this new data network will assist our researchers in strengthening existing partnerships and creating new partnerships that will produce innovative solutions to some of the world’s persistent challenges.”

UNCG’s Jeff Whitworth, associate vice chancellor and chief infrastructure architect, served as the Principal Investigator (PI) for this grant, with co-principal Investigators Shyam Aravamudhan, associate professor, N.C. A&T; Geoff Starnes, associate vice chancellor of information technology and deputy chief information officer, N.C. A&T; and Daniel Todd, director, Triad Mass Spectrometry Facility.