For immediate release
April 10, 2012
Toronto, Ontario — Seven universities in southern Ontario will soon be using high performance and cloud computing infrastructure for research to help solve the world’s most complex problems, including resource management, urban infrastructure, and neurological disorders, thanks to a Government of Canada investment of up to $20 million. The announcement was made today by the Honourable Gary Goodyear, Minister of State for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario), accompanied by Patrick Brown, Member of Parliament for Barrie.
“Our Government has been building on the strengths found in our region to support the advancement of science and technology and help create value-added jobs,” said Minister Goodyear. “We are proud to invest in supercomputing infrastructure that will position southern Ontario at the forefront of research and development in areas that are not only critically important to our communities, but also show great commercial promise.”
“Our government is bringing key players together to give researchers and businesses in southern Ontario a competitive advantage in the world’s rapidly changing economy,” said MP Brown.
Through its Prosperity Initiative, FedDev Ontario is making an investment of up to $20 million to support a new collaborative research and innovation platform in southern Ontario, which brings together a consortium of seven universities and a lead industry partner, IBM.
The consortium will use new state-of-the art high performance and cloud computing systems to process data in research areas with significant commercialization opportunities, including infrastructure, resource management, and neuroscience. These opportunities will be explored through partnerships with local businesses that will be looking to develop new systems for managing traffic, food distribution, electricity, and more, as well as new tools that can be used to diagnose and treat neurological disorders. To remain on the leading edge of research, consortium members will also turn their attention to the development of next generation hardware and software for supercomputers.
"Western played a leading role in establishing SHARCNET, Canada's largest high-performance computing consortium, and we are excited to take the next step by using cloud computing to manage the staggering volume of digital data society creates on a daily basis," said Western president, Amit Chakma. "From neuroscience to our environment and industrial applications, supercomputing holds tremendous promise for helping us make complex research decisions more quickly, while mining data for better answers."
“Canada needs more knowledge-based industries to diversify our national economic portfolio beyond the current over-weighting of commodities and natural resources and help eliminate our identified innovation gap,” said Dr. David Naylor, president, University of Toronto. “The IBM Canada Research and Development Centre takes direct aim at these issues by creating modern research networks that bring advanced computing capacity to bear on important issues such as: water monitoring, management and distribution; energy monitoring and management; urban planning and traffic management for intelligent cities; and the cross-walk of brain science with artificial intelligence.”
The platform is expected to help increase Canadian competitiveness in the global economy by bringing new specialized skills in data management and analysis, software engineering and production to southern Ontario. As a result, communities across the region and country stand to benefit from new economic opportunities and diversification.
For more information on FedDev Ontario’s Prosperity Initiative and this project, please see the backgrounder.
The investment announced today supports the Government of Canada’s science, technology, and innovation agenda, which is focused on increasing the country’s productivity, creating jobs, economic grow the and long-term prosperity.
Created in 2009, FedDev Ontario supports the southern Ontario economy by building on the region’s strengths and creating opportunities for jobs and economic growth. The Agency has launched a number of initiatives to create a Southern Ontario Advantage and place the region in a strong position to compete in the global economy. These initiatives are designed to encourage partnerships and support projects that help the region’s businesses and communities become more competitive, innovative and diversified. To learn more, please visit www.feddevontario.gc.ca or call 1-866-593-5505.