Red Hat, BU Team for Open Source Research and Education

February 1, 2017

Red Hat has started a collaborative research and education agreement with Boston University (BU) to advance research and education on open source and emerging technologies, including cloud computing, machine learning and automation, and big data. Via the five-year agreement, Red Hat plans a broad educational and research collaboration with BU with grants totaling $5 million administered by BU’s Cloud Computing Initiative.

Paul Cormier, president, Products and Technologies, Red Hat said, “When we announced plans for a new facility in Boston, we also made a commitment to become an active part of Boston’s thriving tech community and to help develop the next generation of open source talent in collaboration with the city’s world-class universities. This grant and collaboration with Boston University is designed to achieve just that, while also helping to keep Red Hat at the forefront of open source innovation. We are excited about the potential that this broad collaboration holds.”

Dr. Robert A. Brown, Boston University President added, “We’re very pleased to launch this partnership. Red Hat is in the vanguard of innovation in open source and cloud-based computing, as are our researchers at the Hariri Institute. I am confident that our collaboration can result in important breakthroughs that impact real-world application.”

Hosted within the Hariri Institute for Computing and Computational Science & Engineering, Boston University’s Cloud Computing Initiative (CCI) is dedicated to leading integrated initiatives in research, education, and technology development targeting all layers of the cloud computing ecosystem. The CCI pursues projects that provide the impetus for collaboration and advancement by not only involving members of BU’s academic community, but also industry leaders such as Red Hat, and users of prototypical applications whose needs may not be met by existing cloud platforms.

Red Hat, recognized as one of the world’s most innovative companies, has become synonymous with open source and is also a leader in emerging technologies, including hybrid cloud computing and Linux containers. In September 2016, Red Hat announced plans for a new facility in Boston to showcase and advance open source innovation.

Through the collaboration - spanning research, incubated projects, and fellowship and internship programs for students and visiting scientists - Red Hat and Boston University aim to advance research projects focused on emerging technologies, including open source operating systems, cloud computing technologies and services, machine learning and automation, and big data platforms. A fundamental goal of the collaboration is to combine the strengths of research and open source innovation, developing techniques and best practices to integrate the rigor and focus of academic research with the power of community-powered open source innovation.

The agreement includes plans for:

•Red Hat Emerging Technology Lab at BU (RHET Lab@BU), aiming to provide a platform for exploratory development and research projects. RHET Lab@BU will support research projects from the broad Red Hat and BU research communities, and each project is expected to include participants from academia and Red Hat, bringing broader perspective to emerging technology research.

•Red Hat Graduate Fellows, providing funding for Ph.D. fellowships during the five years of the collaboration. Awarded to select applicants from BU’s Electrical and Computer Engineering and Computer Science Ph.D. programs, Red Hat Graduate Fellows will have an opportunity to participate in one or more paid summer internships at Red Hat and spend a significant portion of their time working in the dedicated Red Hat Research spaces, both at BU and at Red Hat’s new Boston facility.

•Red Hat Postdoctoral and Visiting Scientist Fellowships, providing support for both full- and part-time postdoctoral and visiting scientists for up to two years and enabling non-BU academic researchers, including those from universities engaged in the Massachusetts Open Cloud (MOC). The Fellows will be expected to organize a Red Hat Cloud Computing Colloquium, including talks and workshops that include researchers, students, and various industry leaders.

This collaboration with BU is an outgrowth of Red Hat’s multi-year collaboration with the Massachusetts Open Cloud (MOC). Hosted by the CCI, the MOC is a collaboration between the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, universities (including Boston University, Harvard University, Northeastern University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and the University of Massachusetts) and industry to create an open cloud where multiple entities can offer computing resources and services and collaborate on various projects.

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