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[I2-NEWS] Internet2 Middleware Initiative awarded NSF grant to enhance science and research collaboration

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  • From: Lauren Rotman < >
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  • Subject: [I2-NEWS] Internet2 Middleware Initiative awarded NSF grant to enhance science and research collaboration
  • Date: Mon, 25 Oct 2010 16:28:11 -0400

Internet2 Middleware Initiative awarded NSF grant to enhance science and research collaboration

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – October 25, 2010 – The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded a three-year $2.65 million grant to the Internet2 Middleware Initiative to advance collaboration for virtual organizations (VOs).

Over the last decade, the Internet2 community has developed foundational authentication and authorization tools such as Shibboleth Federated and Single Sign-on System, Grouper Groups Management Toolkit, and COmanage Collaborative Management Platform. The work funded by this new grant will combine these software components together into a toolkit that will facilitate access to distributed resources and applications by domain science projects and other virtual organizations.

According to Ken Klingenstein, senior director of Middleware and Security programs for Internet2 and principal investigator for the grant, “The goal is to connect the growing identity and trust cyberinfrastructure within the R&E community back into science and research. The bedrock is being built; now its time to begin to connect research to that bedrock, so that science can leverage the robustness and sustainability of the infrastructure.”           

Awarded under the NSF’s Software Development for Cyberinfrastructure (SDCI) program, the grant involves a partnership with several NSF-funded virtual organizations to enhance their collaboration tools and environment. Two large virtual organization partners involved in the grant are the Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory (LIGO) and iPlant.

LIGO is a facility dedicated to the detection of cosmic gravitational waves and the measurement of these waves for scientific research. Scott Koranda, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and co-principal investigator from LIGO, comments, “Harvesting the science content from LIGO data is a collaborative effort between instrumentalists, data analysts, modelers, and theorists. Efficient collaboration begins with scalable and robust identity management infrastructure that can easily be leveraged and integrated with the wide spectrum of tools LIGO scientists use to collaborate and analyze the LIGO data.”

LIGO expects the work funded by this grant to further enhance its current identity management infrastructure and allow more tools across the web, grid computing, and command line spaces to integrate tightly into the infrastructure. This will enable scientists to focus more on collaborative science and less on managing identity and credentials.

iPlant is a community-driven effort involving experts working in integrated teams to solve plant science grand challenges. “Interdisciplinary collaboration is an absolute necessity for addressing grand challenges in plant sciences,” according to Nirav Merchant, University of Arizona, and co-principal investigator from iPlant. “iPlant brings together a diverse community of scientists, computational tools and technologies from a global community of institutions, infrastructure, and data providers. The ability to form virtual teams across organizational boundaries and securely share data, tools, and best practices are essential capabilities.”
Merchant explains that “iPlant was created specifically to address the growing need for providing access to these integrated capabilities through web based applications but also through Application Programming Interfaces (API). This grant will facilitate extensions to the identity management infrastructure, permitting more secure and broader use of iPlant capabilities by allowing our users to leverage their home institution credentials to easily access iPlant-based resources in ways that enrich their collaboration strategies.”

For more information on the NSF award, visit

About Internet2
Internet2 is an advanced networking consortium led by the research and education community. An exceptional partnership spanning U.S. and international institutions who are leaders in the worlds of research, academia, industry and government, Internet2 is developing breakthrough cyberinfrastructure technologies that support the most exacting applications of today—and spark the most essential innovations of tomorrow. Led by its members and focused on their current and future networking needs since 1996, Internet2 blends its human, IP and optical networks to develop and deploy revolutionary Internet technologies. Activating the same partnerships that produced today’s Internet, the Internet2 community is forging the Internet of the future. For more information, see
About the Internet2 Middleware Initiative

The Internet2 Middleware Initiative focuses on developing interoperable identity and access management infrastructures for research and higher education. The initiative's work includes developing tools, roadmaps, software, practices, standards, and education. For more information, see

About LIGO

LIGO is a facility dedicated to the detection of cosmic gravitational waves and the measurement of these waves for scientific research. The LIGO Scientific Collaboration (LSC), an international group that carries out both instrument development and scientific data analysis for LIGO, includes more than 800 scientists, throughout the world. In the United States, these efforts, and in particular, the LIGO Laboratory, are supported by NSF; LIGO is the single largest VO that NSF supports. LSC groups in Europe include those from the UK and Germany, and a sister project, VIRGO, is a French and Italian collaboration. For more information, see

About iPlant

iPlant is a community-driven effort involving plant biologists, computer and information scientists and engineers, and experts from other disciplines, working in integrated teams to solve plant science grand challenges. Funded in 2008 by NSF under its Plant Science Cyberinfrastructure Collaborative (PSCIC) program, the iPlant Collaborative brings together strengths of researchers in plant biology, bioinformatics, computational sciences and high performance computing, as well as innovative approaches to education, outreach, and the study of social networks. For more information, see

  • [I2-NEWS] Internet2 Middleware Initiative awarded NSF grant to enhance science and research collaboration, Lauren Rotman, 10/25/2010

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