Our pan-Wales distributed supercomputing network is the largest in the UK - with five sites across the country - and allows companies and academics to access its 17,000 processor cores remotely. With the support of peak processing performance of almost 320 TFlops (trillion floating point operations), businesses and academics can use the technology to power breakthroughs in product, process or service development, strengthening their market position.The project has been designed to support the public and private sector to deliver world-class projects in collaboration, removing the barriers to innovation and delivering sustainable economic growth and job creation.
How can businesses benefit? Supercomputers have many applications that are invaluable to businesses of all sizes, including advanced modeling and simulation, and our unique project means that Welsh companies in a range of sectors have already benefited from these advanced capabilities. HPC Wales has supported over 75 business users so far, boosting 23 business projects, and resulting in over £3.1million of inward investment into Wales. Projects span many sectors, including advanced materials and manufacturing, creative industries, energy and environment, financial and professional services, and life sciences.
Research projects Our supercomputing technology is also being used to support a number of international research projects, such as the SIRBATT (Stable Interfaces for Rechargeable Batteries) Project - a three-year European-funded collaboration between six universities, led by Liverpool University, and five private sector companies across Europe. Using supercomputing for modeling and simulation purposes, researchers will perform advanced calculations to isolate the chemical processes that cause the battery to degrade and then seek to provide a preventative solution to ensure the longer life of lithium-ion batteries in the future.
HPC Wales also supports innovative research projects in life sciences, advanced materials and manufacturing and the financial sectors. PhD Studentships Alongside HPC Wales’ support for businesses and academic projects, as part of our collaboration with Fujitsu, we have awarded 20 funded PhD studentships at Welsh universities in computational science. The collaboration, promoting the uptake of HPC in the Welsh Government’s priority sectors, provides the opportunity for pioneering research projects to take place, which would not previously have been possible.
Training and support Developing new skills is essential if we are to maximise the benefits that can be realised from supercomputing. Businesses need access to training to internalise the skills to deliver sustainable long-term results. As it stands, over 1,000 people have received training through our Skills Academy, and we believe the development of skills in HPC is critical in terms of our strategic goal of improving the knowledge economy. With the support of HPC, Welsh SMEs and academics are ‘going global’, both in their ambition and in their results. Businesses are starting to benefit from the power of supercomputing. Until recently, the high costs associated with HPC has meant that the technology has only been within reach of larger institutions and corporations. However, that is changing fast. Not only are fees for HPC use falling but in the UK there are a number of associated grants available. As more and more academics and businesses switch on to the potential power of HPC, the foundations of a true knowledge economy are being laid. Our goal is to continue to power the development of ground-breaking research and innovation.