This will drive growth and innovation across a range of sectors that rely heavily on computing including manufacturing, engineering and design. It will also provide industry with the latest technology and facilities, giving reassurance that Britain is a great place to do business and encouraging further private sector support.
Universities and Science Minister David Willetts said: “Significantly improving computing infrastructure is vital to driving growth and giving businesses the confidence to invest in the UK. It has the potential to significantly improve the design and manufacturing process, encouraging innovation across a whole range of sectors.
“The investment will also be of enormous benefit to our world-class research base. It will enable universities to carry out highly sophisticated research and archive more data, keeping us at the very leading edge of science.”
Intel Director for Public Sector Tristan Wilkinson said: “Intel has long believed that you need to invest your way out of a recession and this announcement reflects our philosophy. We naturally welcome the Government’s announcement to make a significant investment in high-performance computing, a technology that is at the leading edge of computing, innovation, and growth. This signals a clear commitment to a future that embraces science, research and technology, and provides confidence for industry to invest in Britain.”
IBM UK and Ireland Chief Executive Stephen Leonard said: “Today’s announcement of a government e-infrastructure investment provides valuable stimulus that has impact far wider than the technology sector. This aligns closely with IBM’s Smarter Planet agenda. We believe that technology infrastructure investment will stimulate a smarter approach to addressing challenges such as city infrastructure, public safety, transport and energy while also providing broader economic, environmental and societal benefit.”
The following areas will benefit from the investment:
- Software development
- Computer power
- Data storage
- Wide bandwidth networks
- Cyber security and authentication
- People and skills
This builds on investment announced in the Budget for supercomputing facilities at Daresbury Science and Innovation Campus in Cheshire, putting it at the forefront of software research and development.
This draws on work being done Professor Dominic Tildesley from Unilever to identify priority areas for future investment in the UK’s computing infrastructure.