The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rt. Hon George Osborne, has today visited the STFC Hartree Centre at Sci-Tech Daresbury to see for himself how the recent Government investment of £113 million in high performance computing capability at the site will be used to help give UK business a two-year head start over international competitors.
The Hartree Centre is a research collaboration for STFC in association with IBM.
The Chancellor’s visit included a chance to view some of the existing capabilities of the Centre such as the 3D visualisation suite, which allows major British companies like Bentley and Unilever to quickly test complex designs without having to create costly and time-consuming physical prototypes.
He also learn’t more about the future plans the Hartree team have to substantially expand the data-centric cognitive computing research capabilities of the Centre.
George Osborne, Chancellor of the Exchequer, said:
“Science is a key part of the government’s long term economic plan, and lies at the heart of our plan to build a Northern Powerhouse."
"Visiting this innovative science park, that is home to extraordinary businesses conducting cutting edge research, has reinforced my determination to ensure that the north leads not only the UK, but the world, in scientific investment and innovation.”
Michael Gleaves, Head of Business Development for the Hartree Centre said:
“This investment will support one of the world’s leading high performance computing centres, and the next generation of scientific discovery; ensuring UK science and industry remain at the forefront of global research and development."
"The next generation of scientific discovery will be data-driven. It is really encouraging that the government recognises the critical role that the relationship between science, innovation and industry plays in supporting economic growth in the UK.”
Professor Susan Smith, Head of the STFC Daresbury Laboratory said:
“Today has been a perfect opportunity to demonstrate to the Chancellor exactly how STFC’s science can support business and industry."
"The teams working at the Hartree Centre at Sci-Tech Daresbury are using this investment to not only harness data intensive science to the needs of UK industry but to also work with our many partners and collaborators across the world to ensure that we offer a real change in the computing capability to industry and that the North remains at the centre of this research and development, growing businesses and industry locally.”
Local MP Graham Evans said:
“Sci-tech Daresbury will become a major research and innovation hub for the North West, Cheshire and Weaver Vale benefiting entrepreneurs, start-ups and the wider community. It is also a vital part of the M56 Science Corridor and the Northern Power House all made possible by this Governments Long Term Economic Plan.”
Cognitive computing systems ‘learn’ in similar ways to human development. The goal is to enable not only scientists, but doctors, bankers, retailers and others to extract the full value of their data and thus make better, more accurate and more timely decisions and discoveries.
As well as creating the new structures, architectures and tools needed to help non-scientists take advantage of big data, the Hartree Centre will deliver computing capability to the international Square Kilometre Array project through its headquarters at Jodrell Bank, and to a variety of national projects including the Turing Centre in London, and the new national materials institute in Manchester.