UK joins Coronavirus computing consortium

The UK has joined the global COVID-19 High Performance Computing (HPC) consortium.

Science minister Amanda Solloway announced the plan at a virtual meeting of G7 science and technology ministers, explaining that it will give UK researchers and scientists access to the world’s fastest supercomputers.

The consortium was recently launched by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, the US Department of Energy and IBM in response to the global pandemic.

UK Research and Innovation will lead the country’s contribution, with the Met Office and UK Atomic Energy Authority providing capabilities.

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy said the move will accelerate UK research into understanding of how the Coronavirus behaves through advanced modelling.

The consortium has already supported 59 research projects, one of which involved London-based artificial intelligence startup Kuano, which used the facilities to gain insights from diseases similar to COVID-19 to help design a new drug.

Solloway stated: “Tackling Coronavirus requires a joint and strong international effort and the very best minds in science and technology sharing their research and knowledge.

“By joining this consortium, our leading researchers will be able to access some of the most advanced computers in the world to speed up their research, gain access to new developments, and share the UK’s world class computing technologies to find a solution to this virus.”

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