Turbulence, transition, and transformation are the key variables in this century’s competitiveness equation. And just how nations position themselves for innovation will determine their future productivity and prosperity.
The United States has the best-equipped vehicle to move through the cross-cutting traffic of ideation and development speeding around the globe. Indeed, high-performance computing (HPC) is a superior navigation tool in the hands of American industry, academia, and national laboratories. But, the American public and private sectors, often in tandem, must work this tool if the United States is to maintain and increase its leading edge.
HPC’s capabilities are unmatched: it produces new ideas fast, and deploys them, in the form of implementation at the local level, at a scale that can be realized across the United States. The value is a strikingly competitive surge ahead in the form of new products and services, commanding the kinds of skilled workers American industry needs to compete. Leveraging the power of HPC to turbocharge entrepreneurship and innovation will be at the heart of future growth, and the Council on Competitiveness – through its High-Performance Computing, Technology Leadership & Strategy, and U.S. Manufacturing Competitiveness initiatives – has explored a variety of ways to embed HPC more deeply in American industry.
The HPC for Energy initiative (hpc4energy) at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) – which debuted last November at our Technology Leadership & Strategy Initiative Dialogue – is the ultimate example of how industry and our world-class national laboratory infrastructure can come together to incubate, accelerate and multiply the value of market-ready products in the most cost-effective way possible in, arguably, the most important sector of our economy.
This deeply immersive and collaborative project – an innovation in and of itself – complements a range of initiatives aimed at elevating and strengthening HPC capacity and capability in the United States. For example, the hpc4energy incubator resonates and dovetails with another ambitious, public-private pilot project in which the Council on Competitiveness is deeply engaged – the National Digital Engineering and Manufacturing Consortium. Where hpc4energy catalyzes energy-focused innovation in large and small companies with LLNL, NDEMC takes a different tack – working with large original equipment manufacturers, such as Lockheed Martin Corporation, the General Electric Company, and Deere & Company, to support their small and medium-sized suppliers to adopt HPC. Without this coordinated approach, the competitive tool of HPC would simply be out of reach for the suppliers so critical to American manufacturing and services.
Both efforts are part of a portfolio approach the United States must take to capitalize on its unparalleled HPC leadership. And the U.S. must maintain that leadership in a world in which many others see the advantages HPC affords and make the investments to leapfrog the United States. The Council on Competitiveness continues to develop and promote efforts such as the hpc4energy incubator at LLNL and the NDEMC, because we are committed to this nation’s competitive edge.
About the Author:
Deborah L. Wince-Smith is the President & CEO of the Council on Competitiveness (Council). Founded in 1986, this unique business-labor-academia coalition of leading CEO’s University Presidents and Labor Union Leaders put forth actionable public policy solutions to make America more competitive in the global marketplace.