University efforts to fill the research funding gaps left by receding government dollars has yielded an unusual partnership. Google, Microsoft and Sun will underwrite a $7.5 million laboratory at UC Berkeley. According to a New York Times report, the new research center - the Reliable, Adaptive and Distributed Systems Laboratory (or RAD Lab) - will focus on the design of more dependable computing systems.
The research focus of the new center will be to apply advances in the use of statistical techniques in machine learning to Web services--from maps to e-mail to online calendars.
The Berkeley researchers are hoping to use these software techniques to make computing systems that provide the growing array of Web services more stable and easier to support.
Greg Papadopoulos, Sun's chief technology officer, remarked on the collaborative effort: "It's interesting to have Google as one of the founding investors because one of the big questions (the RAD lab is trying to address) is, 'How do you get the next Google out there?' "