UK e-science centre to lead involvement in EU computing projects

April 29, 2002

Brussels, 26 April 2002

A national UK e-science centre that will spearhead involvement in advanced European computing projects was opened by the UK Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown on 25 April.

It is hoped the National e-science centre in Scotland, run jointly by the Universities of Edinburgh and Glasgow, will provide a focal point for UK involvement in e-science initiatives and work closely with computing projects being developed by the UK's Particle physics and astronomy research council (PPARC).

PPARC is developing the GridPP programme to exploit data from the Large hadron collider experiment at CERN (European organisation for nuclear research) in Geneva. The technology developed will also contribute to the EU DataGrid, a Europe-wide project that aims to develop and demonstrate the infrastructure that will allow scientists to share information and instruments regardless of geographical location.

PPARC Chief Executive Ian Halliday said the organisation is investing 26 million pounds (over 42 million euro) in e-science technology to help create the GRID, a high-speed computing network being developed by scientists in Europe and the USA. 'The GRID is about enabling collaboration and will allow a computer user, an individual or a group of manipulate and interrogate the vast amounts of information generated by experiments in particle physics and astronomy,' he said.

PPARC is also involved in the AstroGrid project, a virtual observatory programme that will store and share vast amounts of astronomical data. The AstroGrid consortium is part of the Commission-funded Astrophysical virtual observatory (AVO) project to provide astronomers with web access to vast databanks of information from the world's observatories.

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