By Daniel Hunter
Two grants totalling £30m have been awarded to the Hartree Centre in Daresbury, near Warrington, and its academic and industrial partners to develop new super technology, the Chancellor of the Exchequer has announced today (Friday).
A grant of £19m will go towards developing new technology to make super computers more efficient and improve battery life of devices like laptops, tablets and mobile phones. A second grant of £11m will fund essential advanced computing capability for the world’s largest radio telescope, allowing groundbreaking research into the origins of the universe.
The Hartree Centre is one of the biggest, and the most versatile, dedicated supercomputing centres in the world. The world class facilities are part of the wider Daresbury Science and Technology Enterprise Zone, one of two national Science and Innovation Campuses (the other is at Harwell in Oxfordshire).
Development at Daresbury is expected to create 10,000 high quality jobs across several hundred technology companies and unlock over £150m of private sector investment in the area. Daresbury officially became one of the Government’s Enterprise Zones in April 2012 and has already begun work with IBM, Intel and Unilever.
Visiting the centre the Chancellor said: “Britain is in a global race and we are in a position to lead the way in science and technology. Projects like the Daresbury development are crucial to boosting the economy and putting the UK at the forefront of the big data revolution.”
Minister for Universities and Science David Willetts said: “The next generation of scientific discovery will be data-driven. This £30 million investment will support one of the world’s leading high performance computing software centres.
“It will help ensure that UK science and industry stay at the very forefront of research and development.”
This investment forms part of the £600 million investment for science announced by the Chancellor at the Autumn Statement 2012. Details of the funding arrangements, providing investment in the ‘eight great technologies’ were set out by David Willetts on 24 January 2013.
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