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£900k helps Queen’s lead the way in next generation computing

The Belfast e-Science Centre (BeSC) at Queen’s has been awarded a grant of over £900,000 to continue its role in developing the successor to the world wide web.

The revolutionary software work of the centre could change the face of industry, commerce and academic research in the next few years.

Established in 2002, BeSC is already recognised as a world leader in e-Science, which is the development of research methods to exploit advanced computational thinking.

The work is being developed through Grid technology which will ultimately provide huge processing power on tap to anyone. It allows data stored in different computers around the world to behave like a single vast data base.

Television viewers in Northern Ireland could be among the first to benefit from BeSC’s work.

GridCast, a joint initiative between BBC London, BBC Northern Ireland and BeSC has shown how the use of a computing grid, instead of dedicated lines, could enable the regions to take network programmes as and when they wanted. It would mean greater autonomy over their own programme schedule.

Another grid system devised by the centre provides small finance companies with the technology to run a series of financial calculations across a large amount of different resources, such as several different stockmarkets.

The new £900,000 grant has been awarded by the UK e-Science Core Programme which is funded and managed by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

Professor Ron Perrott, who is the Director of BeSC, based in the School of Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Queen’s, said: “Our centre is recognised internationally as a major player and world leader in e-Science. We have been fortunate to have been involved in this national e-Science initiative from the very beginning and shape its nature.

“It has been really exciting, rewarding and stimulating to be involved, particularly since e-Science has now permeated all areas of research and has been taken up by the European Union and other leaders in technology.

“We are delighted to have this public and national confirmation of the excellence of our activity and to be regarded so highly by our peers at the EPRSC.”

Lisa Mitchell | alfa
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