Apple will donate a Workgroup Cluster for Bioinformatics to five of "America's most important, innovative and visionary scientific research projects."

"The purpose of program is to provide innovative scientists with computer hardware that will enhance their ability to conduct their research in unique ways," according to Apple.

A panel of scientists will help Apple review and select the five best applications. The panel includes Erik Lindahl of the Stockholm Bioinformatics Centre at Stockholm University, The BioTeam's Michael Athanas and William van Etten, Apple's Science and Technology Markets director Elizabeth Kerr, Apple partnership manager Robert Kehrer, Apple research and high performance cluster manager Matt MacInnis, and Apple manager, science and technology markets Pear Urushima.

Judgment will be rendered based upon the following criteria:

Scientific background Applicant’s professional background, including articles published, and innovative discoveries made.

Prospect for scientific discovery Applicant’s perceived likelihood to use the award to achieve novel scientific results, including his or her ability to use the award, familiarity with the tools included in the award, and the degree to which Applicant is likely to rely on the award to make scientific discoveries.

Applicability of award to domain expertise Degree to which Applicant’s scientific focus is aligned with the software applications included in the award.

Broader applicability of research Degree to which Applicant’s planned area of research and the methods used to conduct it will be immediately useful to the broader scientific community.

Applicants must complete an application form and submit it by email before midnight on June 13.

The recipients will be announced at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) on June 29.

The five qualifying institutions will each receive a four-node Apple Workgroup Cluster, including four dual-processor Xserve G5s with 2GB RAM; BioTeam iNquiry, including 200 pre-installed bioinformatics applications; XtremeMac Xrack Pro sound-suppressing enclosure; APC Smart-UPS 2200 VA power supply; Asanté GX5-800 Gigabit Ethernet switch; three years of AppleCare Premium Service and Support; and all the appropriate cabling.

Apple claims the approximate retail value of each Apple Workgroup Cluster for Bioinformatics described above is $40,000.