Apple Computer Inc. recently introduced the
Apple Workgroup Cluster for Bioinformatics Award Program, which the company hopes will stimulate thought and raise awareness for their hardware and software solutions. Apple says the award program is a way for them to continue the momentum they’ve seen recently for its workgroup cluster and keep in touch with the scientific community.
“There is already a really strong grassroots movement towards Apple for Bioinformatics, primarily because of Mac OS X,” Liz Kerr, Ph.D., Director, Science and Technology Markets at Apple, told MacCentral. “Having a Unix base to the system is perfect for this market, but that doesn’t mean everyone knows about it. What we’re doing is trying to spread the word and give them the solution.”
Through a concentrated outreach program, Apple has been able to increase awareness of its clustering hardware and software solutions and the efforts will continue. Kerr said that Apple would attend scientific events and tradeshows for the foreseeable future getting feedback from the scientific community and finding out what their needs are.
Apple is hoping to see representatives from the scientific community attend
Worldwide Developers Conference
(WWDC) this year to learn more about the future of Apple’s products. For the first time, Apple has a specialized scientific agenda that will comprise special IT solution sessions, as well as tracks specific to the scientific community. Winners for the award program will also be announced during WWDC on June 29, 2004.
“That’s one of the reasons we’re doing the announcement at WWDC,” said Kerr. “We have a science agenda laid out this year for the first time and we are really trying to get scientists to come.”
A panel of judges made up of Apple employees and members of the scientific community will award five fully provisioned, all-inclusive Apple Workgroup Clusters for Bioinformatics to five scientific researchers in the United States. The deadline for submissions is June 13, 2004.
To date, most of the interest in Apple’s clustering program has come from academic and government labs, although interest from the biotech and pharmaceutical markets has been increasing, as well, according to Kerr. With that interest and a recent Best of Show award, Apple wants to keep the level of interest in their products high and keep the scientific community thinking.
“We want to continue the momentum we are already seeing based on our award at BioITWorld, and the interest we are seeing in the workgroup cluster,” said Kerr. “We want to stimulate the way people think about a workgroup cluster and how it will change their research — if you can do that, then you can potentially increase the number of people that would consider this as a solution.”
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