£20m for six tier-2 UK supercomputer centres


Isambard HPC UofBristol

Funded with £20m from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) the centres are located at the universities of Cambridge, Edinburgh, Exeter, and Oxford, Loughborough University, and UCL.

“These centres will enable new discoveries, drive innovation and allow new insights into today’s scientific challenges, ” said EPSRC CEO Professor Philip Nelson. “They are important because they address an existing gulf in capability between local university systems and the UK National Supercomputing Service ARCHER. Many universities are involved in the six centres, and these will give more researchers easy access to high performance computing.”

Some of the centres will be available free of charge to any EPSRC-supported researcher, and some will give access to UK industry.

The different types of computing requirements provided by this Tier-2 group include high-throughput and GPU computing: JADE system at the University of Oxford will be the largest GPU facility in the UK. GW4 centre will be a world-leading ARM-based test-bed.

The launch ceremony will be at the Thinktank science museum in Birmingham.

Isambard HPC UofBristolThe six grants are:

  • GW4 Tier-2 HPC Centre for Advanced Architectures
    £3m for ‘Isambard’ will use ARM processors
    Universities of Bristol, Bath, Cardiff and Exeter, Cray, Met Office
  • Peta-5: National Facility for Petascale Data Intensive Computation and Analytics
    £5m for a multi-disciplinary facility will provide large-scale data simulation and high performance data analytics designed to enable advances in material science, computational chemistry, computational engineering and health informatics.
    Universities of Cambridge, Oxford and Southampton, Leicester and Bristol, UCL, Imperial College London, DiRAC, King’s College London, The Alan Turing Institute
  • Tier-2 Hub in materials and molecular modelling (MMM)
    £4m for Thomas (after Thomas Young), available to members of the materials and molecular modelling hub as well as the wider MMM and Tier-2 communities. Applications in energy, healthcare and the environment.
    UCL, Imperial College London, King’s College London, Queen Mary University of London, Queen’s University of Belfast, Universities of Cambridge, Oxford, Kent and Southampton, OCF
  • JADE: Joint Academic Data science Endeavour
    Largest GPU facility in the UK (nodes have eight Nvidia Tesla P100 GPUs coupled through NVlink,
    £3m for JADE will focus on machine learning and related data science areas, and molecular dynamics.
    It will have applications in areas such as natural language understanding, autonomous intelligent machines, medical imaging and drug design.
    Universities of Oxford, Edinburgh, Southampton, Sheffield and Bristol, Queen Mary University of London, UCL and King’s College London, NVIDIA
  • HPC Midlands Plus
    £3.2m for HPC at a new centre of excellence at Loughborough University’s Science and Enterprise Park.
    It will be used by universities, research organisations and businesses to undertake complex simulations and process vast quantities in fields ranging from engineering, manufacturing, healthcare and energy.
    Loughborough University, Aston University, Universities of Birmingham, Leicester, Nottingham and Warwick, Queen Mary University of London
  • EPCC Tier-2 HPC Service
    £2.4m for Cirrus at the Edinburgh Parallel Computing Centre (EPCC), which will provide a state-of-the-art multi-core HPC service for science and industry.
    With a next-generation research data store dedicated to Tier-2 users, it is being installed to allow researchers to store data, share it and move it between different supercomputers.
    Universities of Edinburgh, Bristol, Leeds and Strathclyde, UCL

Both photos are of Isambard at the University of Bristol











The launch event begins at 10.30am and there will be presentations on the work of the centres and an accompanying exhibition with exhibits from HPC contractors.


You are invited to send a reporter/photographer to the event. If you would like to register, please contact the EPSRC press office.


Also, useful background on GW4 Tier-2 Centre available today via EPSRC blog ‘Isambard: The Future of High Performance Computing’ https://www.epsrc.ac.uk/blog/isambardhpc/.


For media enquiries contact:


The EPSRC Press Office, tel: 01793 444404, or e-mail: pressoffice@epsrc.ac.uk


Notes for Editors:


Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC): As the main funding agency for engineering and physical sciences research, our vision is for the UK to be the best place in the world to Research, Discover and Innovate. By investing £800 million a year in research and postgraduate training, we are building the knowledge and skills base needed to address the scientific and technological challenges facing the nation. Our portfolio covers a vast range of fields from healthcare technologies to structural engineering, manufacturing to mathematics, advanced materials to chemistry. The research we fund has impact across all sectors. It provides a platform for future economic development in the UK and improvements for everyone’s health, lifestyle and culture. We work collectively with our partners and other Research Councils on issues of common concern via Research Councils UK.



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