2i2c receives core support from CZI

Last week we announced the creation of 2i2c, a non-profit initiative dedicated to improving and facilitating access to infrastructure for interactive computing workflows in research and education. Today we are thrilled to announce that 2i2c has received core support from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative. You can find CZI’s announcement here.

This funding totals around $1.4m over three years. It provides crucial core support for 2i2c as it bootstraps itself into existence. We are so thankful to CZI for this support. 🎉🙏✨

The rest of this post is a short run-down of what we’ll use this funding for, and what we hope to accomplish.

The big picture

In recent years, several projects including Binder, Pangeo, Syzygy, and the Berkeley DataHubs have built atop the Jupyter architecture to support cloud-based infrastructure for reproducible research, large-scale scientific data analysis, national-scale infrastructure for researchers, and broad-impact educational programs based on freely available computational materials. These projects illustrate the transformative potential of the open Jupyter architecture, but they have also shown that unlocking this potential in service of scientists and educators requires continued development and resources beyond those of open source volunteers.

In order to deploy these resources at scale, manage and maintain them for large communities, and to continue developing the underlying technologies for scientific use cases, we need models to sustainably deploy and improve Jupyter technology. We also need capacity for thinking strategically and forging new partnerships to accomplish this goal. This funding will support 2i2c’s early strategic planning and partnership efforts, as well as technical development and operation of Jupyter infrastructure for research and education.

Below are two keys goals for this grant:

Goal 1: Build capacity for Jupyter in research and education

The primary goal of this funding is to build more capacity for Jupyter’s engagement in research and education. This funding will primarily support Chris Holdgraf to build strategic partnerships and collaborations, find opportunities for Jupyter infrastructure to benefit research and education, coordinate activity in the Jupyter project that benefits these communities, and secure more funding for development, maintenance, and support for Jupyter technology.

We are grateful to CZI for this funding because strategy, leadership, and community support are often difficult to fund from grants that are focused on technical deliverables. By funding strategic growth and capacity building, CZI is helping 2i2c lay a strong foundation from which it can have a greater impact.

Goal 2: Support hosted Jupyter infrastructure for research and education

2i2c will offer hosted interactive computing infrastructure utilizing the Jupyter ecosystem. It will both deploy and operate this infrastructure for researchers and educators, as well as perform core development to ensure that it serves these communities well. Funding from this grant will support 2i2c’s first hire - Georgiana Dolocan as an Open Source Infrastructure Engineer. Georgiana has been the JupyterHub Contributor in Residence for the past year, and we are so excited for her to join 2i2c!

Georgiana will begin by supporting several pilot hubs that are run by 2i2c for community colleges, universities, and research institutions. She will help these organizations accomplish their mission through 2i2c infrastructure, and will develop these technologies so they are stable, scalable, and serve a diverse set of needs in research and education. This will hopefully set the foundation for 2i2c to sustainably offer this hub infrastructure to a wider audience in the future.

This is the next step in Georgiana’s journey through the Jupyter ecosystem that began with an outreachy internship followed by a term as Contributor in Residence. Both of these steps were made possible thanks to Jupyter stakeholders who invest their resources, time, and mentorship to grow Jupyter’s community beyond the people that have traditionally been involved in the project. It’s also possible because of funders committing resources to broaden participation and inclusion - in particular, the Berkeley Institute for Data Science and NumFOCUS for their original support of our Outreachy interns and the CZI EOSS grant series for funding the original Contributor in Residence.

What’s next

With this core support, 2i2c turns towards its JupyterHub pilot deployments to build early prototypes that serve research and education, and to build organizational models that sustain these hubs and their development. If you or your organization think you’d be a good fit for these pilots, please reach out to 2i2c and let us know!

Many thanks again to CZI for this support - we believe that it is an excellent investment in the Jupyter community and in open source communities more generally. We also believe it will lead to major advancements in supporting interactive computing workflows for research and education. We look forward to what the next three years will bring!

Chris Holdgraf
Chris Holdgraf
Director of 2i2c