News & Views
New Centre to bring faster Computing
Feb 20 2023
A ground breaking ceremony has been held in celebration of a new £30 million supercomputer centre that is under construction at the Science and Technology Facilities Council’s (STFC) Daresbury Laboratory.
Part of the £210 million Hartree National Centre for Digital Innovation (HNCDI), the new facility, with potential for further expansion built-in, will host the latest in new supercomputing, artificial intelligence and quantum technologies to support business and industry in materials, life sciences, environmental research and development, as well as manufacturing.
Located within the Sci-Tech Daresbury campus in the Liverpool City Region, HNCDI is part of a £172 million collaboration with IBM.
With procurement for powerful, high performance systems for expanding supercomputing and AI activities currently underway, the Hartree Centre anticipates that the first system to be installed in the new building will have a performance capability of between 80 to 100 petaflops (up to 100 trillion calculations per second) - 20 to 25 times faster than the current platform.
Importantly, the new facility will ensure that the Hartree Centre can continue to support UK industry’s commitments towards net zero, which includes enabling the development of:
more efficient manufacturing processes
more efficient transport through better battery design
more environmentally friendly personal care product design
more energy-efficient logistics for distribution challenges
AT the ceremony STFC’s Professor Kate Royse, Director of the Hartree Centre, said: “This is an incredibly exciting day for the Hartree Centre, and we are fully committed to providing an environment where UK science and businesses can be at the very forefront of global research and development in the very latest digital technologies.
Providing access to technologies, such as AI and quantum computing, enables businesses to increase productivity and achieve success, to the benefit of our economy, both here in the north-west and nationally.”
Paul Vernon, Head of STFC’s Daresbury Laboratory, commented: “Our new supercomputing centre is a significant development in our mission to provide UK businesses with access to the vital infrastructure and expertise that will help them to grow and succeed on a global scale.
Manchester-based Russell WBHO, who have been contracted to deliver the project are also working with data centre specialist consultant Sudlows; project management consultant Arcadis; architect AEW; structural engineers Healy Consulting and environmental consultancy E3P.
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