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SHARCNET to become one of Canada’s most powerful HPC centres

Monday, March 8, 2004 - 00:00

As the result of a grant from the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI), The Shared Hierarchical Academic Research Computing Network (SHARCNET), will soon be one of Canada’s most powerful High Performance Computing (HPC) institutes.

Today, SHARCNET was awarded a total of $19,326,759.42 from the CFI, 100% of its original funding request. The CFI, an independent corporation established by the Government of Canada in 1997 to strengthen the capacity of Canadian universities, colleges, research hospitals, and other non-profit research organizations to carry out world-class research and technology development, has supported SHARCNET since 2001.

As a leading provider of HPC resources and services, SHARCNET accelerates the production of research results for some of Canada’s pre-eminent academics; from increasing the understanding of outbreaks of diseases such as SARS to the development of new models to manage financial risk.

The SHARCNET consortium consists of an unprecedented 11 academic partners in South Central Ontario, and 6 private sector partners, all leading North American and European technology vendors.

Carmen Gicante, SHARCNET Executive Director, believes that this latest award reinforces the importance of SHARCNET’s collaborative model and the exceptional research it enables.

“The sharing of expertise and resources, enabling research and innovation which would otherwise not be possible for a single institution – this is one of SHARCNET’s two main strengths.”

The other?

“Our researcher community,” he confirms. “The calibre of research being conducted on SHARCNET systems was instrumental to the success of this (CFI) proposal.”

Dr. Deborah Stacey, an Associate Professor at the University of Guelph, is using SHARCNET to create a software program to model outbreaks of Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD). Stacey’s work, which is funded by federal and provincial health and agriculture ministries, may also have applications to the monitoring and combating of bioterrorism.

“SHARCNET is providing a research environment that is second to none,” she says. “SHARCNET facilities were crucial in attracting this (FMD) project to Guelph. The CFI’s continued support confirms that the innovation taking place within this community is crucial, not only to individual researchers, but to the province and the country as well.”

When new equipment is fully deployed, SHARCNET will be Canada’s largest HPC institute, with the greatest number of partners, and one of the nation’s most powerful computing facilities.

For more information, please contact:

Lindsay Zajac
Communications Officer
519.661.2111 x87082

Valerie Poulin
Media Relations Coordinator
Canada Foundation for Innovation

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