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September 13, 2012
Sept. 13 -- High Performance Computing (HPC) Wales has announced a new milestone in its efforts to attract inward investment to Wales. Seven new funded PhD studentships in computational science at Welsh universities have been announced as part of its collaboration with Fujitsu, taking the total inward investment it has attracted into Wales to £1m.
Part-funded by £24 million through the Welsh Government, including support from the European Regional Development Fund, HPC Wales is committed to boosting the Welsh economy by providing business and academic researchers with some of the most advanced computing technology in the world. In addition, HPC Wales is providing the training, outreach and technical support to exploit supercomputing technology effectively and power innovation.
Subject to contractual agreements, the new fully-funded studentships bring the total of funded projects to 14 and form part of the wider strategic collaboration between HPC Wales and Fujitsu, who are promoting the uptake of high performance computing (HPC) in the Welsh Government’s priority sectors.
The successful projects aim to advance innovative research in the advanced manufacturing, life sciences and environmental sectors and will use HPC Wales infrastructure, powered by Fujitsu PRIMERGY clusters. Studentship projects will also have access to collaboration with researchers and HPC specialists from Fujitsu Laboratories of Europe and the Technical Computing Solutions Unit of Fujitsu Limited.
David Craddock, Chief Executive Officer of HPC Wales, commented: “We are delighted to support these projects, which are at the cutting edge of innovative research. By facilitating close collaboration between universities and businesses, these projects look set to strengthen and support the growth of a number of key areas of the Welsh knowledge economy.”
One studentships awardee is Dr David Willock of the Cardiff Catalysis Institute, Cardiff University. In collaboration with Beaumaris-based Nextek Innovations Ltd, he will use computer simulations to design and improve catalytic materials for the production of green chemical feedstock materials derived from agricultural waste. This will have a positive impact on the sustainable chemicals industry in Wales and further afield, as efficient catalysts reduce energy requirements and increase yields, leading to smaller chemical plant sizes with less local environmental impact.
Dr Willock said:
"Our research will help contribute to a sustainable future, while helping power innovation and economic development in Wales. This is an exciting opportunity to put HPC expertise from the academic world into use in the commercial chemicals arena."
Dr Michaela Bray and Professor Roger Falconer of the Hydro-environmental Research Centre at Cardiff University, together with collaborator Waterco, will investigate the impact of extreme weather events upon steep river basins throughout Wales. This project will combine modelled climate data from the UK Met Office with a state of the art river-estuary flow model to undertake high-resolution climate and river flow modelling, contributing to more accurate flood maps for use in industry and by government agencies, planners and local authorities.
Fujitsu’s Masahiko Yamada, President of the Technical Computing Solutions Unit, said:
“This is an important investment for Fujitsu, and we are proud to be involved in these projects in Wales. By investing in these studentships, and by making Fujitsu researchers available for collaboration with Welsh scientists, we believe we can help accelerate and contribute to creating a more sustainable future. The studentships cover a diverse cross-section of areas, many of which are also of commercial value – and we are already seeing some extremely positive results.”
About HPC Wales
HPC Wales is an innovative collaboration aimed at giving businesses and universities involved in commercially focused research access to the most advanced and evolving computing technology available. HPC Wales will invest in state-of-the-art computing technology, infrastructure and facilities on a pan-Wales basis, high level skills development and training and provide tailor made support services to business. The availability of this technology is set to have a major impact on the Welsh economy, on business competitiveness, on innovation, high value R&D in higher education institutions and skills development. It is set to create more than 400 jobs across key industry sectors.
Fujitsu is the leading Japanese information and communication technology (ICT) company offering a full range of technology products, solutions and services. Over 170,000 Fujitsu people support customers in more than 100 countries. We use our experience and the power of ICT to shape the future of society with our customers. Fujitsu Limited (TSE:6702) reported consolidated revenues of 4.5 trillion yen (US$54 billion) for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2012. For more information, please see http://www.fujitsu.com
About Fujitsu UK and Ireland
Fujitsu UK and Ireland is a leading IT systems, services and products company employing 11,400 people with an annual revenue of £1.7 billion. Its business is in enabling its customers to realise their objectives by exploiting information technology through its integrated product and service portfolio. This includes consulting, applications, systems integration, managed services and products for customers in the private and public sectors including retail, financial services, telecoms, government, defence and consumer sectors. For more information, please see: www.uk.fujitsu.com
About Fujitsu Laboratories of Europe Limited (FLE)
Fujitsu Laboratories Limited has had an active presence in Europe since 1990, forming Fujitsu Laboratories of Europe Limited (FLE) in 2001. The company's groundbreaking work is closely aligned to the future needs of the business community, focused on making future technologies a reality for today's businesses. FLE aims to shorten the R&D cycle to put cutting edge technologies into customers' hands as quickly as possible, enabling businesses to gain a tangible competitive advantage. Close collaboration with leading academics and experts Europe-wide forms a central element of FLE's approach, ensuring the effective pooling of expertise with other pioneers in any given field of research. FLE also participates in a number of EU research initiatives, bringing together the joint expertise of industry and academia to accelerate the development and use of new technologies on a pan-European basis. For more information, please see:www.fujitsu.com/emea/about/fle/.
Source: HPC Wales
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