Unique computing hub to give Wales advanced and evolving computing technology

Fujitsu to boost super computing in Wales

Fujitsu has signed a £15 million contract with Welsh universities to create a unique computing hub.

The technology giant will provide infrastructure and services to create a £40 million super computing network, a research and innovation institute and a skills academy.

The four year deal represents a quantum leap forward in high performance computing in Wales and will give the country the most advanced and evolving computing technology available.

Ieuan Wyn Jones, Deputy First Minister and minister for Economy and Transport, said it was a major investment for the future of Wales and would provide the supercomputing facilities and staffing needed for future growth.

He said: "It will provide crucial support for key industry sectors as well as stimulate the growth of ICT and other industries.

"It supports our Economic Renewal programme, giving businesses real competitive edge, encouraging higher value-added industry and making Wales an attractive location for high value investment."

The High Performance Computing Wales (HPC Wales) project will create super computing capability and capacity across Wales, handling and analysing massive amounts of data at high speed.

It will be accessible to both universities and industry and is strategically importance to Wales as it will position it as a leading international centre for specialist computational research, providing a strong competitive advantage.

Lesley Griffiths, the Welsh Assembly Government's Deputy Minister for Science, Innovation and Skills, said it would open up a new era of commercially focussed research across Wales, forging close collaborations between businesses and universities.

"The academy and outreach programmes will also drive forward high level skills, with hard objectives for building skills levels in information and communication technologies and computational based science.

"It will help businesses in every part of Wales, complementing the support delivered through the Economic Renewal programme."

The scale and distributed nature of the undertaking, combined with its open access to business, makes it a unique initiative, unprecedented in the UK and the rest of Europe.

The investment in super computing facilities and equipment, accessible via a network linked to 12 sites across Wales, is backed by a major investment in high level skills development and training, as well as tailor-made training and research support for business.

Fujitsu will commence work immediately, with support from their partners, including household names such as Microsoft and Intel. The aim is for the HPC project to be fully operational before the end of this year.

A Fujitsu spokesman said: "Our work with HPC Wales will be one of the most significant enterprise-class grid systems in Europe today and will be Fujitsu's largest HPC project in Europe.

"What's key for us is that HPC is no longer all about 'tera' and 'petaflop' supercomputer technical ratings.

"Rather it is about what the HPC capability is used to achieve and ultimately what difference that makes. We're confident that our work with HPC Wales will bring significant technology, skills, research, jobs and economic development to the region."

The main computer hubs for HPC Wales will be in Cardiff and Swansea/Pembroke Dock, linked to spokes at Swansea, Aberystwyth, Bangor and the University of Glamorgan, with further links to University of Wales Alliance Universities and business innovation centres throughout Wales.

For more information visit www.hpcwales.co.uk

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