Marshall University to receive more than $525,000 from grant to enable Internet2® access across West Virginia

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – Students and researchers across the region will benefit from a $1,176,470 National Science Foundation (NSF) grant to West Virginia’s Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR).

The award, which was announced earlier today by U.S. Senator Jay Rockefeller and West Virginia Governor Joe Manchin, will enhance cyberinfrastructure across the state’s higher education system over the next two years.

Marshall University will receive $525,874 from the grant to enable inter-campus Internet2® access for the state’s predominantly undergraduate institutions, community and technical colleges, and the K-12 community. The grant will allow Marshall University to become a Sponsored Education Group Participant (SEGP), thus providing MU the ability to share with partners and collaborators our Internet2 global high performance network. Currently, there is no SEGP provider in the state of West Virginia.

Internet2 is an advanced networking consortium led by the research and education community. Marshall announced in January that it had joined the network, which connects nearly 70,000 research and educational institutions nationwide and interconnects with 80 international research networks. In addition to providing access to a number of significant emerging technologies not available within the limitations of previous networks, Internet2 links Marshall with people, equipment and information at partner institutions around the world.

“This vital funding will allow Marshall University to establish the mechanisms that will help our partners and collaborators strategically position themselves to join us in cutting-edge opportunities not currently available on the commercial Internet,” said Dr. Jan Fox, Marshall’s senior vice president for information technology and chief information officer. “These enhanced capabilities will have particular significance not only for expanding science, technology, engineering and mathematics programs, research initiatives and clinical outreach, but also will bring significant economic development opportunities to the region.”

Fox also acknowledged Marshall staff members who are working on the project, including Dr. Arnold R. Miller, assistant vice president for information technology; Allen Taylor, chief technology officer; and Michael Adkins, director of information technology infrastructure.

The grant was funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. West Virginia EPSCoR is directed by the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission (HEPC).

This award builds upon a three-year, $2.6 million grant HEPC received last year from the NSF to upgrade networks and enhance immersive visualization capabilities for researchers at Marshall, West Virginia University and West Virginia State University in collaboration with the University of Arkansas system. That grant is assisting the institutions with connection to high-performance computing networks and resources around the world, allowing researchers to collaborate in real time without geographic limitations.

Marshall received a little over $1 million from the 2009 award. Rockefeller saw a mine safety demonstration earlier this year at Marshall’s Virtual Interactive Simulation Environment (VISE) Lab-which received funding from this earlier grant.

For more information, contact Fox at 304-696-6706 or fox@marshall.edu.

Media Contact: Ginny Painter, Communications Director, Marshall University Research Corporation, 304-746-1964, ginny.painter@marshall.edu