ORION, an ultra-fast fibre optic network enabling research and innovation across
When asked about their access to advanced computing - including hardware and software infrastructure, as well as highly-qualified personnel - 80 percent of respondents said current resources are not sufficient to meet their research needs. The study estimates that researchers are losing approximately one day of productivity per week due to these constraints.
"Nearly all modern research has come to rely on advanced computing," says
Advanced computing refers to specialized software or hardware not widely available to the general public (as opposed to common word processing or Internet tools), typically requiring highly-qualified personnel to utilize and support it. Common examples include: high-performance computing (e.g., simulations, modeling, etc.); cloud computing for research; data management, sharing, and storage, and instrumentation/sensor networks that are computer-mediated.
More than half a million researchers use the ORION network to complete their work and access advanced computing resources provided by other organizations and institutions.
The report is part of the Advanced Computing Transforming Innovation in
According to ACTION's findings, dependence on advanced computing runs deep. A large majority of researchers interviewed use advanced computing on a daily or regular basis, and most of their research relies on services provided by these computing resources.
Moreover, researchers' dependence on advanced computing is increasing: many groups interviewed expect that their dependence on such computing resources (whether computation, access to data or to qualified personnel) will increase over time.
"Despite this obvious need for increased advanced computing architecture,
"We're seeing clear trends in research and innovation, such as the growth of big data and cloud computing, as well as an increasing interdependence between healthcare and bioinformatics research and development, all of which make investing in advanced computing a clear priority if we want to drive innovation in these fields," he says.
Graham points to a large number of reports and studies concluding that
• Greater investment in advanced computing and personnel resources should be sought through means such as provincial shared services, cloud computing, or a combination of local and cloud computing, and data management.
• A broad-based provincial strategy should be implemented in order to develop highly-qualified personnel and connect researchers to existing expertise.
• Information about advanced computing support and services in the province should be made more accessible, ideally through a dedicated website.
The research for the report was supplemented with information gathered at a community workshop held in
To download a PDF of the report, click here.
The ACTION project is sponsored and managed by ORION, with support from the
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