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The iPlant Collaborative: Empowering A New Plant Biology
The United States National Science Foundation (NSF)’s Plant Science Cyberinfrastructure Collaborative (PSCIC) program is intended to create a new type of organization – a cyberinfrastructure collaborative for the plant sciences - that enables new conceptual advances through integrative, computational thinking. To achieve this, the iPlant Collaborative was developed. iPlant is a 5 year project to develop and support cyberinfrastructure for the plant biology community. It is community-driven, involving plant biologists, computer and information scientists and engineers, and experts from other disciplines, all working in integrated teams.
The iPlant Collaborative brings together strengths in plant biology, bioinformatics, computational science and high performance computing, as well as innovative approaches to education, outreach, and the study of social networks. The cyberinfrastructure created by iPlant provides the community with two main capabilities: access to world-class physical cyberinfrastructure, and services that promote interactions, communications, and collaborations that advance the understanding and use of computational thinking in plant biology. In this talk we will review the major components of the iPlant cyberinfrastructure developed over the past 5 years, discuss several challenges faced in building the iPlant community, and highlight key challenges facing the project going forward.