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New supercomputing institute comes to Wales

11 December 2009

A new £44m high performance computing (HPC) institute for Wales has been announced by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS).

HPC Wales, which will be delivered by Cardiff and Swansea Universities, will be funded by £10m from BIS's strategic investment fund (SIF), together with contributions from European funds, Higher Education in Wales and the private sector. The HPC institute will be based in two hubs at Cardiff and Swansea Universities, with additional centres and support at Aberystwyth, Bangor, Glamorgan and the University of Wales.

HPC Wales is designed to create new opportunities for HPC users in Welsh universities and businesses, and has been developed as a strategic component of the Government's Building Britain's Future policy. Committed to a ten year development programme, HPC Wales promises to establish strong foundations for the future, providing flexible ways to adapt to changing technologies and skills requirements. It will also enhance collaborative research across a range of sectors including engineering, health and biosciences, manufacturing and low carbon innovation.

The successful bid follows considerable preparation and planning by the Welsh Assembly Government and a number of Wales' Higher Education institutions. Cardiff University's Advanced Research Computing @ Cardiff (ARCCA) division played a central role throughout the bidding process - in the development, distribution and subsequent analysis of the initial HPC survey, designed to inform the development of a strategy for the future of HPC in Wales, and then, together with colleagues from the partner HEIs, in crafting the bid itself.

The initiative will offer a range of opportunities, including skills-development activities, internships, training packages and consultancy services – all designed to enhance workforce skills and to strengthen links between HPC Wales and Welsh industry. HPC Wales will provide companies with access to supercomputing resources, and is expected to create over 400 new jobs.

Find out more about ARCCA