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The University of Texas at San Antonio Online Magazine

Heads in the Cloud

Research: UTSA takes steps to further position itself and San Antonio as world leaders in cloud technology

Under an initiative to develop degree programs in cloud computing and big data and to foster collaboration with industry, UTSA announced in February the creation of its Open Cloud Institute.

Through the philanthropic 80/20 Foundation and other industry supporters, the institute launched with initial gifts and in-kind investments of $9 million. The foundation has committed $4.8 million to support four endowed professorships, up to two faculty research positions, 10 graduate student endowments and research funding.

"I believe that academia is just at the beginning of the cloud revolution," says Graham Weston, founder and chairman of 80/20 and Rackspace, which is also supporting the institute. "We're going to see amazing innovation that is created from it. We can't even imagine what those innovations will be."

UTSA is already recognized as the top university in the country for cybersecurity education, with research and education programs that span its College of Business, College of Engineering and College of Sciences. The Open Cloud Institute further distinguishes UTSA as a top-tier research institution.

"UTSA is emerging as a global leader in academic research built upon open technologies," Weston says. "The Open Cloud Institute will enhance UTSA's capabilities, while boosting the supply of cloud engineers that all of our businesses need in order to power the technology companies of the future."

The institute will actively engage with industry partners, such as Rackspace, to facilitate technology transfer and provide a platform for industry projects in next-generation cloud technology.

"By recruiting the nation's most-sought-after scholars, UTSA has developed tremendous expertise in cloud, cyber computing and analytics," says UTSA President Ricardo Romo. "The Open Cloud Institute further builds on that strength. With the support of our industry partners, UTSA students and researchers now have unparalleled opportunities to collaborate on projects that will lead to new innovations in this dynamic field."

The university has also received in-kind donations from industry leaders such as AMD, Intel, Mellanox Technologies and Seagate as well as support from the Open Compute Project and the OpenStack Foundation.


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