Anni Hellman, Deputy Head of Unit eInfrastructure, Director General Communications Networks, Content and Technology at the European Commission started the day’s proceedings with a presentation outlining the European HPC strategy and how it will boost research and innovation in the sector. She emphasised the importance of the Horizon 2020 programme; the EU framework for research and innovation for 2014-2020, with its €77billion budget.
Joe Duran, Director, HPC Systems at Fujitsu gave a presentation on human centric intelligent society and how big data and HPC is driving transformational opportunities for industries and the world as a whole. This was followed by a discussion on e-infrastructure capability, with its £160million investment from BIS, delivered by Cliff Brereton, Director of the Hartree Centre.
Peter Haynes, CORE Director at Imperial College London gave insights into CORE, a shared HPC service between Cambridge and Imperial. The University of Cambridge has one of the largest R&D
budgets within the UK Higher Education sector and HPC forms a key part of the research strategy, with investment of over £1M per year in capital equipment alone. These levels of investment demonstrate the recognition of the importance of HPC and Big Data, a fact that was even further demonstrated later in the day by David Willetts.
Dr Steven Kenny, Director, HPC Midlands and Reader of Mathematical Sciences at Loughborough University took to the stage to discuss the theme of accelerating innovation across the engineering and energy industries using supercomputing.
Tobias Preis, Associate Professor of Behavioural Science and Finance and Suzy Moat, Assistant Professor of Behavioural Science from Warwick Business School gave an outstanding presentation on predicting behaviour using data from the internet. The example of predicting stock markets led to questions about the feasibility of predicting genocide and other such phenomenon. This was definitely a ‘get-you-thinking’ presentation.
The afternoon keynote presenter was none other than the Rt Hon David Willetts MP, Minister for Universities and Science at the Department for Business Innovation and Skills. He announced £14 million to fund the second phase of investment into Big Data in the UK. You can hear his full presentation at www.govnet.co.uk/Speech/WilletsSpeech.wav. This announcement was very well received and sparked many a discussion about what the likely outcomes of this will be.
The final two presenters of the day were Jonathan Mitchener, Lead Technologist on ICT at the Technology Strategy Board and Andrew Houghton, Deputy Head of Unit Flagships, DG Communications Networks, Content and Technology for the European Commission who talked about increasing investment through energy efficient and high performance computer systems and how future and emerging technology research will boost excellence in research and innovation in Horizon 2020 respectively.
For more information on this jam-packed programme or other conference details, please visit http://ukhpc.co.uk/