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SES institutions to benefit from £14 million for HPC services

Researchers across the Science and Engineering South Consortium (SES) are to share the benefits of a £30 million investment in advanced supercomputing services. 

The funding will support seven High Performance Computing (HPC) services run by universities from across the UK, including the SES members UCL, Oxford and Cambridge. Together, the three HPC services led by SES institutions will receive £14 million of the funding from the Engineering and Physical Science Research Council. 

The investment will provide researchers with access to the latest technology and expert software engineers. It will also help them speed up scientific breakthroughs like developing ‘food fingerprinting’ to detect chemical contaminants in food and improving drug design. 

The UCL-led Materials and Molecular Modelling Hub (MMM Hub), which provides HPC capacity for researchers to carry out ground-breaking research on the properties of materials, will receive £4.5 million.  

This second phase of funding will build on the hub’s capabilities, which include:  

  • understanding and preventing surface degradation, such as corrosion and wear, on a range of different materials  
  • researching how changes to the recycling of metals can reduce the environmental damage caused by metal extraction 
  • developing the next generation of materials for solar energy generation 

The other partners involved in the MMM Hub include Queen Mary University of London (QMUL), Imperial College London, King’s College London, and the Universities of Cambridge and Southampton. 

Joint Academic Data Science Endeavour – 2 (JADE 2) will receive £5.5 million to provide Graphics Processing Unit computing facilities that can support a range of data intensive techniques, such as machine learning and Artificial Intelligence (AI). 

JADE 2 is led by Oxford University and the six other SES institutions are among the partners in the service along with other universities and research organisations, such as the Alan Turing Institute. It provides powerful computing resources to the new UKRI Artificial Intelligence Centres for Doctoral training, which are developing the next generation of experts in AI. 

The Cambridge Service for Data Driven Discovery receives £4 million from EPSRC and an additional £3m from Science and Technology Facilities Council, Medical Research Council and UK Atomic Energy Authority, to help create one of the most powerful academic supercomputers in the UK. Kings College London, and the Universities of Oxford and Southampton are among the other partners in this Cambridge-led initiative.