World Community Grid (WCG) is an effort to create the world's largest volunteer computing grid to tackle scientific research projects that benefit humanity.[1]

Launched November 16, 2004, it is funded and operated by IBM with client software currently available for Windows, Linux, Mac OS X and FreeBSD operating systems.

Using the idle time of computers around the world, World Community Grid's research projects have analyzed aspects of the human genome, HIV, dengue, muscular dystrophy, and cancer. The organization has so far partnered with over 400 other companies and organizations to assist in the work and has over 436,000 registered user accounts.


IBM and other research participants sponsored the United Devices Smallpox Research Grid Project to accelerate the discovery of a cure for smallpox. The smallpox study used a massive distributed computing grid to analyze compounds' effectiveness against smallpox. The project allowed scientists to screen 35 million potential drug molecules against several smallpox proteins to identify good candidates for developing into smallpox treatments. In the first 72 hours, 100,000 results were returned. By the end of the project, 44 strong treatment candidates had been identified. Based on the success of the Smallpox study, IBM announced on November 16, 2004 the creation of World Community Grid with the goal of creating a technical environment where other humanitarian research could be processed.

World Community Grid initially only supported Windows, using the proprietary Grid MP software from United Devices which powered the distributed computing projects. Demand for Linux support led to the addition in November 2005 of open source BOINC grid technology which powers projects such as SETI@home and Climateprediction. Mac OS X and Linux are now officially supported.

As of March 30, 2009, World Community Grid had over 436,000 registered user accounts with over 1.2 million registered computers. Over the course of the project, over 228,000 years of computing time have been donated and over 256 million workunits have been completed. [2]




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