Science and Technology Facilities Council
Chancellor visits STFC Hartree Centre to see latest North West Big Data investment in action
The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rt. Hon George Osborne, has recently visited the STFC Hartree Centre at Sci-Tech Daresbury to see for himself how the recent Government investment of £113 million in high performance computing capability at the site will be used to help give UK business a two-year head start over international competitors.
Richard Anderson STFC Hartree explaining to the Chancellor Computer Aided Formulationon one of the Hartree’s visualisation screens
The Hartree Centre is a research collaboration for STFC in association with IBM. The Chancellor’s visit included a chance to view some of the existing capabilities of the Centre such as the 3D visualisation suite, which allows major British companies like Bentley and Unilever to quickly test complex designs without having to create costly and time-consuming physical prototypes. He also learn’t more about the future plans the Hartree team have to substantially expand the data-centric cognitive computing research capabilities of the Centre.
George Osborne, Chancellor of the Exchequer, said: “Science is a key part of the government’s long term economic plan, and lies at the heart of our plan to build a Northern Powerhouse. Visiting this innovative science park, that is home to extraordinary businesses conducting cutting edge research, has reinforced my determination to ensure that the north leads not only the UK, but the world, in scientific investment and innovation.”
Michael Gleaves, Head of Business Development for the Hartree Centre said that “This investment will support one of the world’s leading high performance computing centres, and the next generation of scientific discovery; ensuring UK science and industry remain at the forefront of global research and development. The next generation of scientific discovery will be data-driven. It is really encouraging that the government recognises the critical role that the relationship between science, innovation and industry plays in supporting economic growth in the UK.”
Local MP Graham Evans said: “Sci-tech Daresbury will become a major research and innovation hub for the North West, Cheshire and Weaver Vale benefiting entrepreneurs, start-ups and the wider community. It is also a vital part of the M56 Science Corridor and the Northern Power House all made possible by this Governments Long Term Economic Plan.”
Cognitive computing systems ‘learn’ in similar ways to human development. The goal is to enable not only scientists, but doctors, bankers, retailers and others to extract the full value of their data and thus make better, more accurate and more timely decisions and discoveries.
As well as creating the new structures, architectures and tools needed to help non-scientists take advantage of big data, the Hartree Centre will deliver computing capability to the international Square Kilometre Array project through its headquarters at Jodrell Bank, and to a variety of national projects including the Turing Centre in London, and the new national materials institute in Manchester.
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The STFC Hartree Centre: Part of the STFC Daresbury Laboratory, and located within the Sci-Tech Daresbury science and innovation campus, the Hartree Centre was set up to drive growth and innovation between science and industry. Every day, the Hartree Centre collaborates with industrial clients and research partners on projects that enable them to produce better outcomes, products and services, and to do that faster and cheaper than conventional R&D workflows. In a world increasingly driven by data, harnessing this data and extracting new insights from it is the key to competitive and societal advantage.
The Hartree Centre is an industrial gateway to world-class high performance computing (HPC) and simulation technology. A research collaboration in association with IBM and originally underpinned by more than £37.5m of initial government funding, it is home to the UK’s most powerful supercomputer dedicated to the development, deployment and demonstration of new software, enabling new HPC collaborations that promote UK economic growth. Recent funding came in the December 2014 Autumn Statement with a further government investment of £113 million.
Working with the Virtual Engineering Centre, in which it is a partner with the University of Liverpool, the Hartree Centre uses modelling, simulation and visualisation facilities to enable business growth and competitiveness.
For more information on STFC’s Hartree Centre
The Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) is keeping the UK at the forefront of international science and tackling some of the most significant challenges facing society such as meeting our future energy needs, monitoring and understanding climate change, and global security. The Council has a broad science portfolio and works with the academic and industrial communities to share its expertise in materials science, space and ground-based astronomy technologies, laser science, microelectronics, wafer scale manufacturing, particle and nuclear physics, alternative energy production, radio communications and radar.
The STFC Scientific Computing Department provides large scale HPC facilities, computing data services and infrastructure at both STFC Daresbury Laboratory and STFC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory. The department also includes world leading experts in a number of scientific fields including computational chemistry, computational engineering, materials science, band theory, computational biology, advanced research computing, atomic and molecular physics, numerical analysis, software engineering, data services, petascale storage, scientific information and scientific computing technology.
STFC operates or hosts world class experimental facilities including in the UK the ISIS pulsed neutron source, the Central Laser Facility, and LOFAR, and is also the majority shareholder in Diamond Light Source Ltd. It enables UK researchers to access leading international science facilities by funding membership of international bodies including European Laboratory for Particle Physics (CERN), the Institut Laue Langevin (ILL), European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF) and the European Southern Observatory (ESO).
STFC is one of seven publicly-funded research councils. It is an independent, non-departmental public body of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS).
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