President Donald Trump announced a new public-private partnership March 22 to use supercomputers to combat the spread of the new coronavirus, known as COVID-19.

The effort, called the COVID-19 High Performance Computing Consortium, is being led by the White House’s Office of Science and Technology Policy, the Department of Energy, and IBM, with additional partners from industry, government and academia, according to a news release by the Department of Energy.

The consortium will allow COVID-19 researchers access to the supercomputers to “significantly advance the pace of scientific discovery in the fight to stop the virus,” the release read.

Through the consortium, researchers can submit proposals through an online portal that will then be reviewed by a panel of scientists and computing researchers to evaluate the public health benefit. Then, computing resources will be allocated.

"The Department of Energy is home to the world’s fastest and most powerful supercomputers, and we are eager to partner with leaders across industry and the scientific community who will use our world class innovation and technology to combat COVID-19,” Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette said in a statement.

According to the release, the supercomputers available to the consortium can process “massive numbers of calculations” related to bioinformatics, epidemiology, molecular modeling and health care system response. The work will help scientists develop answers to coronavirus questions in hours or days, instead of weeks or months.

“By bringing together the world’s most advanced supercomputers and matching them with the best ideas and expertise, this consortium can drive real progress in this global fight,” said Dario Gil, director of IBM Research. “IBM is proud to have helped kick-start this important effort.”

The Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration is also lending its supercomputing resources to combat COVID-19, said Lisa Gordon-Hagerty, the DOE’s undersecretary for nuclear security and the NNSA’s administrator.

Participants in the effort are listed below:


  • IBM
  • Amazon Web Services
  • Google Cloud
  • Microsoft


  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

U.S. Department of Energy’s National Laboratories

  • Argonne National Laboratory
  • Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
  • Los Alamos National Laboratory
  • Oak Ridge National Laboratory
  • Sandia National Laboratories

Federal Agencies

  • National Science Foundation
  • NASA

Andrew Eversden covered all things defense technology for C4ISRNET. Beforehand, he reported on federal IT and cybersecurity for Federal Times and Fifth Domain, and worked as a congressional reporting fellow for the Texas Tribune. He was also a Washington intern for the Durango Herald. Andrew is a graduate of American University.

More In IT & Networks
Six proven steps to Zero Trust
Agency leaders are working to adopt the mindset of trust nothing and verify everything to prioritize the transformation of legacy systems.
US must prepare for proliferation of cyber warfare
To build cyber resilience in this heightened threat environment, agencies must work closely with both international counterparts and industry to align on a proactive, global approach to all cyber threats –– not just state-sponsored attacks.
In Other News
Load More