The announcement by Peter Braid, Member of Parliament for Kitchener-Waterloo, at an event at the University of Waterloo is a major step forward for Canada's advanced research computing infrastructure - an important component of Canada's digital research ecosystem. This essential infrastructure and expert support directly supports the Canadian economy and science excellence.
Peter Braid, on behalf of the Honourable James Moore, Minister of Industry, announced $30 million for the development of an advanced research computing platform that will enable Canadian researchers to gain a far deeper understanding of how the scientific, social, health and economic worlds connect.
We applaud the Government of Canada's commitment to investing in digital research infrastructure that fuels a competitive and innovative economy. This capacity will give our research community the tools they need to achieve greater impact more quickly, translating into new discoveries, economic return on investment, as well as increased skills and expertise in our workforce, regardless of industrial sector or scientific discipline. This is a win for Canada and a win for research and innovation", stated Mark Dietrich, President and Chief Executive Officer at Compute Canada.
"We fund a variety of different projects and increasingly these are collaborative projects where engineers in our companies and engineers in universities will have to work together. That requires many projects to use the same computing architecture, if not the same computing platform and for the work we support, that will be Compute Canada. It's in our interest to see that platform optimized", stated Fassi Kafyeke, Senior Director Strategic Technology and Advanced Product Development, Bombardier Aerospace, Montreal.
Compute Canada will retain focus for on-campus support, with approximately 200 personnel employed at 33 member institutions who are available to assist students, faculty, and staff. Support includes all aspects of the modern tools of computation-based science, including simulation, data analytics, computer programming and model development, analysis of results, visualization, and training.
The strength and experience from all four sites and teams will benefit researchers and their international and industrial partners across Canada", stated Dr. Greg Newby, Compute Canada's Chief Technology Officer. "This concentration of investment will position Canada to competitively meet the growing needs of data and computationally intensive research and ensure we continue to support science excellence and innovation."
All research disciplines have identified an increasing demand for infrastructure over the next five years. In some cases, this is due to a constant progression of the field towards more complex models and more compute-intensive approaches as they model the world around us and develop new innovative products. As part of its technology refresh programme, Compute Canada will design and deploy a new national storage Cloud. The significant investment will modernize the mechanisms by which users access and retain files and datasets. Approximately 25% of the total capital investment will go to storage resources.
Common to all areas is the need for expert personnel to enable efficient use of resources in cutting-edge research", stated Dr. Dugan O'Neil, Compute Canada's Chief Science Officer. "Our on-campus experts will have world-class infrastructure with which to serve Canadas world-class researchers in areas such as genomics, advanced manufacturing, and exploring complex systems such the universe."
With this investment Compute Canada will replace 24 ageing systems with four new systems offering improved services and capacity to accelerate research results. New national systems will be hosted at the University of Waterloo, the University of Toronto, Simon Fraser University and the University of Victoria. Compute Canada's plan includes early procurement of a national storage infrastructure, followed by a staged deployment of four large computer systems.
Duane Cronin, a mechanical engineering professor at the University of Waterloo, will harness the computational power of this large-scale platform to rapidly model the ways in which a vehicle - and its passengers - respond in crash scenarios. His results will be used to shape the next generation of safer, smarter cars.
This CFI investment will serve the diversity of needs within Canada's community of advanced research computing users. It will prompt a new wave of discoveries that will improve the livelihood of Canadians, create prosperity, and reaffirm the nation's reputation for research excellence and innovation.