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EU Puts Money on Grid

The European Union will invest 52 million euro (US$63.3 million) in grid research to push the technology out of the lab and into the hands of business.

The European Commission announced on Tuesday that it would fund 12 research projects with the aim of boosting business competitiveness and creating new markets and services.

Calling grid computing "tomorrow's Internet," the commission announced that the bulk of the funding would go to four projects, with eight others getting a slice.

The SIMDAT project will develop generic technologies for the automotive, aerospace and pharma industries. The focus will be on using grids to solve complex data-processing problems in product development and production process design.

The NEXTGRID project focuses on delivering a new grid architecture, tailored to business and industry requirements, by the end of the decade.

The AKOGRIMO project will build on mobile communications and IPv6 to demonstrate a vision of "mobile dynamic virtual organizations," with an emphasis on e-health and e-learning.

The COREGRID project will bring together existing grid research communities by creating virtual "centers of excellence" and stimulating joint research programs among research institutes across Europe.

"These projects will accelerate Europe's drive to turn its substantial Grid research investment into tangible economic benefits," Olli Rehn, Enterprise and Information Society commissioner, said in a statement. "Greater use of grid tools is key for mobilizing Europe's scientific and technological capital to deliver greater competitiveness and better products."

The projects are funded by Information Society Technologies research, which is part of the EU's sixth research Framework Program. Its approach to grid research combines "technology push" -- developing the underlying technologies and interoperability standards -- with "application pull" -- developing the enabling technologies needed for real-world applications, including modeling, simulation, data mining and collaborative working tools.