IBM on Monday pledged the equivalent of $200 million in computing resources, cloud services and weather data to help scientists research climate change and explore ways to mitigate its effects.
The company plans to sponsor up to five research projects that could benefit from the World Community Grid, an IBM initiative that provides huge amounts of free computing power for large-scale environmental and health-related research projects. The Grid is powered by computers and Android devices belonging to more than 730,000 worldwide volunteers. The volunteers download an app, and when their devices aren't in full use, it uses them to automatically perform virtual experiments.
The Grid has hosted a number of environment-related projects, such as Harvard's work identifying 36,000 carbon-based compounds with strong potential for converting sunlight into electricity. Scientists have also used the World Community Grid to study issues like crop resiliency and innovative ways to improve water filtration.
"Computational research is a powerful tool for advancing research on climate change and related environmental challenges," Jennifer Ryan Crozier, VP of IBM Corporate Citizenship, said in a statement.
IBM will choose the projects based on their scientific merit, their potential global impact and the capacity of the research team to manage a sustained research project. Scientists who submit proposals can apply to receive free IBM cloud storage resources and free access to global weather data from The Weather Company, an IBM Business. The company is accepting applications here on a rolling basis, with a first-round deadline of September 15.