Scientists unveil key component of second generation Internet

July 24, 2002

Brussels, 23 July 2002

UK scientists unveiled one of the key building blocks of the Grid, hailed as the 21st century successor to the Internet, at an international conference in Edinburgh, Scotland, on 22 July.

Researchers from UK eScience centres and IBM UK have released details of key parts of the 'plumbing' at the heart of the Grid, which will enable researchers to harness vast computing resources around the world to crack key scientific challenges in areas such as the human genome and particle physics.

It is hoped that the new specifications will pave the way for prototype Grid systems and commercial as well as scientific applications.

The announcement was made at the fifth Global grid forum (GGF), hosted by the UK's National eScience centre in Edinburgh this week. The event brings together more than 1,000 experts from throughout the world to discuss and debate the development of Grid computing.

It sees the publication of a technology blueprint that sets standards and roadmaps for Grid developers to follow. The UK team behind the initiative has drawn up a set of procedures that will allow scientists using the Grid to access databases of research results from systems anywhere in the world.

Professor Malcolm Atkinson, Director of the National eScience centre, said: 'eScience will change our ways of working. We'll solve the problems faster. We'll focus the efforts of scientific communities, drawing on shared data and massive computing power to face urgent challenges.'

He added: 'While the worldwide web allows us to share data, e-science allows research teams to collaborate to turn data into information and hence knowledge.'

The Director of the centre's eScience core programme, Professor Tony Hey, said: 'Good science is based on data. But when the data collected in a single year is now equivalent to the sum total of data collected beforehand, the scale of the challenge to share and harvest all that data becomes clear.

'The pioneering work of the UK team paves the way for this to happen and we expect to see a series of prototypes based on this research released in the coming weeks and months.'

For further information about the National eScience centre, please contact:

Simon Hill
Connors Communications
Tel: +44 20 7432 0761

or consult the following web address:

CORDIS RTD-NEWS/© European Communities, 2001

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