International supercomputer pact set to fire up UK COVID-19 research

  • The UK becomes the first country outside the US to join the COVID-19 High-Performance Computing consortium set up in response to the pandemic
  • the consortium will allow UK researchers to bid for access to some of the world’s fastest supercomputers
  • UK commits to working with G7 nations to tackle coronavirus, including sharing research and identifying novel solutions

The UK will be the first country, outside the US, to join the global COVID-19 High Performance Computing (HPC) consortium, Science Minister Amanda Solloway announced today (Thursday 28 May).

The consortium, launched by the US in response to the global pandemic, will allow the UK’s world-leading researchers and scientists to gain access to the world’s largest and fastest supercomputers and perform complex calculations quickly. This will rapidly accelerate UK coronavirus research, helping further treatments, knowledge and understanding of how the disease behaves through advanced modelling.

Bringing together government, industry, and academic leaders, the consortium has 40 members including IBM, US Department of Energy, Google and NASA. It has already supported 59 research projects, all running on high performance computing machines – including London based AI start up, Kuano, which is using the facilities to gain insights from diseases similar to COVID-19, such as SARs, to help design a new drug to defeat the virus.

The announcement was made during the G7 Science and Technology Ministerial held today, with the UK represented by Minister Solloway and John Whittingdale, Minister

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