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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/K000128/1
Title: MidPlus: A Centre of Excellence for Computational Science, Engineering and Mathematics
Principal Investigator: Rodger, Professor PM
Other Investigators:
Dove, Professor MT Hirst, Professor J Johnston, Professor R
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Department: Centre for Scientific Computing
Organisation: University of Warwick
Scheme: Standard Research
Starts: 01 January 2012 Ends: 31 March 2012 Value (£): 1,600,000
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Related Grants:
Panel History:  
Summary on Grant Application Form
We propose to establish a Centre of Excellence for Computational Science, Engineering and Mathematics (MidPlus) that serves the M1/M6 corridor from London to the Midlands, initially based on four leading universities with outstanding credentials for cross-institutional collaboration, industrial partnership, and computational research: Warwick, Birmingham, Nottingham and Queen Mary. We focus on this region because geographical proximity greatly facilitates outreach and ongoing interactions with industrial partners-especially for SMEs. MidPlus is well located to serve many organisations within the UK's automotive, aerospace, biomedical, materials and creative industries. We will extend this partnership to such companies, and other Universities, as MidPlus develops.

This Centre of Excellence will be established with an initial investment in e-Infrastructure of £3M (£1.6M from this EPSRC call and £1.4M from the partner Universities) that will provide:

* High performance Computing (HPC) through a capability cluster (Warwick; 2700 cores, infiniBand, some GPU and large-memory SMP nodes) to be combined with Warwick's existing cluster (commissioned 05/2011) to create a 6000 core cluster and so maximise scope for large massively parallel jobs; and a high throughput cluster (QMUL, 2900 cores) to facilitate projects that require multiple runs to span large parameter spaces.

* Data storage and archive facilities (mirrored at Birmingham and Nottingham for data integrity) to enable mid- and long-term storage of research data (initially ~1 PB capacity), and the management structures to enable metadata-based search and retrieval with secure implementation of a range of user-specified levels of privacy.

In the longer term we will: extend the capacity of the data store; develop an automated data-aging protocol to migrate data, successively, to appropriate longer-term storage technologies; extend the range of tier-2 HPC architecture we support; and develop greater integration of, faster regional network connections between, the data and compute hardware.

Our collective research expertise and mastery of managing and using e-Infrastructure is as crucial to the success of MidPlus as is the equipment we will install. We will therefore build an intellectual superstructure on top of the e-Infrastructure that will:

* actively promote collaborations that cross disciplinary and institutional boundaries;

* provide a coordinated systems and administrative support team to enable industries with existing expertise to use these facilities-either to deal with the peaks in their internal demand for computer facilities or as an alternative to establishing their own;

* provide an expertise-base to nurture new industrial use of this e-Infrastructure;

* create a strategic framework within which to sustain and develop the regional e-Infrastructure.

This intellectual superstructure will enable MidPlus to offer services that add much more value than could be obtained from the bare e-Infrastructure or, indeed, from industrial cloud computing services.

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Organisation Website: http://www.warwick.ac.uk