What’s New in Computing vs. COVID-19: Argonne, Australia, JEDI & More

By Oliver Peckham

April 28, 2020

Supercomputing, big data and artificial intelligence are crucial tools in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic. Around the world, researchers, corporations and governments are urgently devoting their computing resources to this global crisis. This column collects the biggest news about how advanced technologies are helping us fight back against COVID-19.


Australian supercomputing leaders begin battle with COVID-19

Both NCI Australia and the Pawsey Supercomputing Centre have spun up their computing resources to combat COVID-19. NCI announced support for three projects with a combined 40 million units of compute time on its “Gadi” supercomputer, and Pawsey announced support for five projects on over 1,100 cores of its Nimbus cloud. To read more about the projects, click here.

Flinders University uses Oracle Cloud to pursue a COVID-19 vaccine

Researchers at Flinders University in Australia are using a combination of Oracle Cloud technology and vaccine development technology from Vaxine to design a vaccine for COVID-19. The team, which previously worked on developing a SARS vaccine, is targeting the spike protein and the ACE2 receptor. To read more, click here.

PSC highlights COVID-19 research on Anton 2 and Bridges supercomputers

The Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center (PSC) is highlighting its ongoing COVID-19 resources, including a specialized Anton 2 supercomputer that is now available for urgent COVID-19 research. PSC has also highlighted work from a group of Pennsylvania State University researchers using Bridges to analyze Twitter data for COVID-19 epidemiology. To read more, click here.

AMD upgrades LLNL system for COVID-19 research

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) has received an upgrade for its Corona supercomputer boosting its capacity for COVID-19 research. AMD is sponsoring a hardware swap that will offer Corona nearly double the performance, raising its peak double-precision computing power from 2.8 petaflops to 4.7 petaflops. “The addition of these new state-of-the-art GPUs on Corona will boost the capability of the teams working on COVID-19,” said Jim Brase, LLNL’s deputy associate director for Programs. To read more, click here.

JEDI launches ‘Billion Molecules Against COVID-19’ challenge

The Joint European Disruptive Initiative (JEDI) has launched a massive challenge with millions of euros in prizes. The challenge, which will stretch over about two months, tasks each team with using pooled supercomputing resources to study interactions between COVID-19 and a billion molecules in order to find the best candidates for therapeutics. To read more, click here.

Researchers conduct supercomputing-powered bioinformatics work on COVID-19

A team of researchers working on the Galaxy project, one of the world’s largest bioinformatics platforms, have been using supercomputing to tackle COVID-19. Systems from the Texas Advanced Computing Center and the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center are lending time to help conduct genomic analysis of the virus. To read more, click here.

Argonne researchers use AI-enabled supercomputing for COVID-19 drug discovery

Researchers at Argonne National Laboratory are using AI to sift through billions of molecules to find the most promising candidates for stopping COVID-19. The deep learning tool, called DeepDriveMD, allows researchers to identify the aspects of certain proteins that make them stronger candidates for binding to COVID-19. The tool was trained and run using four different supercomputers. To learn more, click here.

GCS announces first COVID-19 research project awardees

The Gauss Center for Supercomputing (GCS) has announced the first awardees of its call for special research projects addressing COVID-19. So far, 19 projects have been awarded time across a variety of supercomputing centers. GCS – which has unified its calls with PRACE – also reminded researchers that the calls will remain open until further notice. To read more, click here.

The University of Ottawa joins multinational team fighting COVID-19 with supercomputing

Researchers at the University of Ottawa’s Bioanalytical and Molecular Interaction Laboratory have joined a multinational team of researchers using Russia’s RSC Tornado supercomputer to study COVID-19. The team is aiming to use the recently upgraded supercomputer to develop therapeutics for the virus. To read more, click here or here.


Do you know about COVID-19 research that should be featured on this list? If so, send us an email at [email protected]. We look forward to hearing from you.

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