Deputy Minister for Skills and Technology, Ken Skates AM on high performance computing in Wales

27/01/14
Ken Skates AM, Deputy Minister for Skills and Technology

Wales is a developed industrial nation with a long history of innovation and technological development. This development has been achieved through embracing new scientific and engineering advances, innovation and new technologies.

One of the major supports underpinning the science and engineering base is high performance computing (HPC) technology which allows the development of a deeper understanding of the science and engineering behind these areas, whether it is modelling DNA and genomics, exploring the combustion of new fuels in gas turbine engines or modelling the impacts of extreme weather events.

This deeper understanding of science and engineering and the new ways of processing and interpreting huge volumes of data will encourage the discovery of new solutions to many of the emerging 21st Century problems. Many of these new advances are only possible with the huge expansion of computational capacity that HPC Wales offers.

I am very pleased to see that Wales is building its own unique HPC capability and regard HPC Wales as a key organisation which brings together many of the universities in Wales in a truly collaborative venture. HPC Wales is becoming an exemplar in the field of HPC and is, perhaps, unique in the UK in that it is geared up to deliver research that is more commercially focussed so as to help generate economic impact particularly in the SME sector.

However, it is all very well having state-of-the-art hardware and ICT infrastructure but if there is not the expertise to use it, the benefits will not be realised.

I am very pleased to see that part of the HPC Wales remit is to develop the skills necessary to use the HPC capability, particularly among young people in our universities and colleges. I applaud HPC Wales in their efforts to develop this skills base and I wish them every success in the future.