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News Release 08-054

NSF Advances TeraGrid Computing Capacity with $65 Million Grant to Build Kraken

Illustration of an  enormous mythical sea monster, namesake of the Kraken Supercomputer.

The Kraken Supercomputer is named after the enormous mythical sea monsters.

April 3, 2008

This material is available primarily for archival purposes. Telephone numbers or other contact information may be out of date; please see current contact information at media contacts.

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded a $65 million grant to the University of Tennessee, Knoxville (UTK) to develop Kraken, a state of the art supercomputer. Kraken will enhance the computational power of the TeraGrid, the world's largest, most powerful and comprehensive distributed cyberinfrastructure for open scientific research.

"Like the gargantuan sea monsters Kraken, which inspired the naming of this supercomputer, the possibilities in scientific and engineering advances it enables are enormous, limited only by the confines of human imagination and vision beyond the frontiers of science," said NSF Director Arden L. Bement in a taped message that was played today at a luncheon in Knoxville.

Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen, UTK President John Petersen, Oak Ridge National Laboratory Director Thom Mason, and NSF's Office of Cyberinfrastructure Director Daniel Atkins attended the announcement ceremony.

"This $65 million NSF grant is not only the largest ever received by University of Tennessee, Knoxville; it is the largest research grant ever received by any university in the entire state of Tennessee," Bement said. "It enables an exciting new partnership between the National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy through its Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and the University of Tennessee and various partnering universities."

Watch the video of NSF Director Arden L. Bement's message.

Visit the site with online media resources about Kraken.


Media Contacts
Lisa-Joy Zgorski, NSF, (703) 292-8311, email:
Gina Stafford, University of Tennessee, 865-974-0741, email:

Program Contacts
Stephen Meacham, NSF, (703) 292-8970, email:

The U.S. National Science Foundation propels the nation forward by advancing fundamental research in all fields of science and engineering. NSF supports research and people by providing facilities, instruments and funding to support their ingenuity and sustain the U.S. as a global leader in research and innovation. With a fiscal year 2023 budget of $9.5 billion, NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and institutions. Each year, NSF receives more than 40,000 competitive proposals and makes about 11,000 new awards. Those awards include support for cooperative research with industry, Arctic and Antarctic research and operations, and U.S. participation in international scientific efforts.

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