STFC and IBM form Big Data Innovation Hub for small businesses

6 Nov 2014 01:47 PM

The Science & Technology Facilities Council’s (STFC) Hartree Centre and IBM have created a new Big Data Innovation Hub to help commercial organisations solve complex business problems and achieve competitive advantage.

The advanced supercomputing facilities and highly skilled scientists at the Hartree Centre, combined with IBM’s Big Data and Analytics technology, is now enabling companies to quickly identify the value in their data and then design their own Big Data technology system to meet their individual business needs – which can be anything, from developing new products more quickly and cheaply, to understanding disease and developing new drugs. Once the company has completed a successful ‘proof of concept’ of their system, the Hartree team will then help them establish it, facilitating the journey from initial business objective through to a fully operational system.

Lee Hannis, Business Development Manager at the Hartree Centre said: “STFC’s Hartree Centre has a great track record of delivering high performance computing services to industry and developing algorithms and complex models that are used to create new products faster and cheaper. This new collaboration in data analytics provides an obvious and exciting extension to open up our skills to a wider business audience. This unique toolset will allow any company to both accelerate their understanding of data and its value within their business.”

Located at STFC’s Daresbury Laboratory, within the Sci-Tech Daresbury science and innovation campus, the Hartree Centre has already worked across several industries to help them discover the value in utilising a Big Data technology solution and skills service before moving to a full implementation, including:

Global healthcare company GSK - is working with the Hartree Centre to develop clustering techniques similar to that used on social networking sites to enhance the understanding of these relationships. ‘Disease mapping’ looks at a wide array of source data from various journals and other records to identify correlations between genes, biological processes and known diseases.

Democrata, a UK construction company – is using the powerful analytics at Hartree Centre to automate environmental impact assessments and better predict risk. Surveys are required to analyse a multitude of data sets to understand the impact of a high speed rail link or a new road. In the past this has been a slow and cumbersome task. But now, using big data analytics automated searches and queries on disparate data sets means faster and cheaper decision making for large engineering and construction firms.

KnowNow Information, an IBM Business partner is helping local government Emergency Service providers improve their decision making and resources planning. Using the Hartree Centre big data analytics technology and data scientists, the emergency services provider can now see patterns of incidents across their territory and the system can begin to predict where and when to allocate resources. This has the potential to save time and money for all emergency response teams.

Healthcare – Hartree Centre has helped healthcare providers perform analytics on hospital performance records to improve healthcare more widely by understanding correlations between performance based on cost of service delivery and throughput.

“As we see the ‘Internet of Things’ evolving with many more connected devices, we believe Big Data Analytics technology can be applied to developing new products and services for other areas. The work we have done with STFC is a great example of this,” said Dixit Shah, Big Data and Analytics Leader, IBM UK and Ireland.

Further information:

For more information on STFC’s Hartree Centre.

For more information about IBM Big Data Analytics.

For more information about STFC.