Data experts, technology suppliers and policymakers have gathered to celebrate the power and future of supercomputing in Wales.
Hosted by Cardiff University, the event highlighted the impact of research enabled by High Performance Computing (HPC) facilities and research software engineering teams across all four Supercomputing Wales (SCW) universities: Cardiff, Swansea, Aberystwyth and Bangor.
Launching the showcase at Cardiff’s new Abacws building, Economy Minister Vaughan Gething MS announced a further £2m in support for Supercomputing Wales from the European Regional Development Fund through Welsh Government, bringing the total to £11.9M for the period 2015-2022, with University partner investment topping up the programme value to £19.6M.
Economy Minister Vaughan Gething said: "Research, science, and technology has never been more important in tackling the major global problems of our time. A perfect example of this is Supercomputing’s invaluable work during the global pandemic in modelling the spread of COVID-19 in Wales and sequencing COVID-19 genomes.
"Supercomputing Wales is more than just computing infrastructure - it is an important community of research software engineers, technical staff and researchers working to achieve substantial outcomes for science, our universities and for Wales.
"High Performance Computing and software engineering will play a vital role in both academic and industrial research over the course of the next decade. The Welsh Government is proud to support Supercomputing Wales in its quest to build research expertise in data gathering and analysis. This will benefit the economy, public services, education and health care, helping improve our future well-being and tackle some of the major global problems of our time."
From modelling the spread of COVID-19 to mapping and monitoring land cover across Wales using satellite imagery, Supercomputing Wales (SCW) has been at the heart of advanced research and innovation in Wales since 2016.
Professor Roger Whitaker , Academic Director of Supercomputing Wales and Pro Vice-Chancellor for Research, Innovation and Enterprise at Cardiff University, said: "We were delighted to welcome a diverse range of delegates and speakers to our showcase, including Economy Minister Vaughan Gething. Large-scale data is now abundant, and the event set out to celebrate the role of HPC and software engineering in helping to process, analyse and understand data that shapes innovation landscape in Wales, the UK and beyond."
Guest speakers also included Professor Mark Wilkinson, Director of DiRAC which provides distributed High Performance Computing (HPC) services to the Science and Technology Facilities Council theory community.
Mike Gravenor , Professor of Biostatistics and Epidemiology at Swansea University’s Institute of Life Science and Dr Anna Price , a Research Software Engineer in Cardiff’s School of Biosciences focused on the role played by Supercomputing Wales in data analysis to tackle the Covid-19 pandemic.
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