The two-day workshop featured speakers from organisations such as Unilever, Jaguar Land Rover, IBM, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and the Barcelona Supercomputing Centre (BSC), with presentations highlighting the real competitive advantages which can be gained as a result of using HPC, as well as showcasing examples of some of the collaborations already existing between industry, academia, the Virtual Engineering Centre and Hartree Centre.
Andy Grant from IBM's High Performance Computing Division, who also sits on the Government's E-Infrastructure Leadership Council stated: "This was an incredibly important and productive event which drew together a diverse audience, all of whom use, or have an interest in using HPC as an integral part of their business. Over the course of the two days, large industrial organisations, small and medium enterprises and our partners in academia and research benefited from hearing about how their peers are facing similar challenges and are using HPC to address these challenges, as well as using the event as a platform to foster new collaborations, both in the UK and internationally."
A research collaboratory with IBM, STFC's Hartree Centre enables government, industry and academia access to world-class supercomputing capabilities and complementary software skills. The centre's facilities include a cutting-edge surround wall visualisation suite and advanced software training facilities.
The event took place in the same week as the Hartree Centre was officially opened by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rt. Hon George Osborne. Mr. Osborne visited Daresbury Laboratory, where the Hartree Centre is located, to announce a GBP30 million investment to firmly establish the UK as the world leader in energy efficient supercomputer software development to meet big data challenges. GBP19 million of this investment was allocated to Hartree Centre.
This is to support the progress of power efficient computing technologies designed for a range of industrial and scientific applications, and particularly in the development of software that can handle the huge amounts of data created by large experimental research initiatives, such as the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) and CERN, the largest generators of scientific data in existence. The other GBP11 million is earmarked for the SKA, the world's largest radio telescope, to develop the software capable handling the unprecedented amount of data it would produce.