News Column


September 2, 2014

News release Fujitsu

· Highlands to host high performance computer network · Super-fast links could lure companies and jobs to north of Scotland · Countless R&D uses for pioneering system Super-fast computer technology with capabilities previously unseen in Scotland will be piloted this month, aiming to revolutionise research and development skills and create thousands of new jobs.

The high performance computing (HPC) network will link a hub in the Highlands with computer clusters in other parts of the UK, as well as in Europe, China, Japan and the US.

The combined power will mean that work that normally takes days, or even months, can be completed in hours or minutes, allowing connected firms to improve innovation and productivity.

The IT giant Fujitsu, which has bases in Inverness and Alness, is to launch the four-month trial supported by The Highland Council and Energy North, the trade group of over 200 members in the oil and gas, renewable energy and nuclear industries.

High performance computing (HPC) can handle and analyse huge amounts of data at high speed, giving businesses and research institutions unprecedented problem- solving power that will accelerate and improve their work.

Among its countless uses, HPC can advance medical research and treatments, develop climate change technology, create complex simulations and animated graphics and carry out rapid mathematical calculations.

Fujitsu, which will fund the pilot, says it has been inspired by proposals for a Highland Science Skills Academy which is aimed at growing science, IT and technology careers. With HPC in the Highland region, Fujitsu and other companies would be able to consider establishing research and development operations in the area, which would be a catalyst for bringing new, highly-qualified posts to the north of Scotland.

The Highland HPC pilot will centre on two ‘host’ companies chosen by Fujitsu and Energy North. The system will use a portal to connect initially to a HPC cluster in Wales and, ultimately, to a pilot scheme in Northern Ireland, and Fujitsu operations at Hayes in Middlesex, the base for the Laboratories of Europe, a global network of research facilities in Europe, Japan and the US.

It means companies in the Highlands will be able to link into computer technology previously unavailable.

The Welsh HPC network, which connects six universities, as well as private sector companies, can run at 320 tflops – capable of 320 trillion operations every second.

It is already being used on a wide variety of projects, from improving cancer and dementia treatments and optimising offshore wind farms, to producing computer-generated imagery for movies and nuclear energy research.

One firm using HPC in Wales says it is the equivalent of upgrading from a Ford Fiesta to a Formula 1 car.

Drew Hendry, Leader of The Highland Council, said: “HPC opens up a new world of potential for the business and research community in the Highlands and beyond.

“It will put the region at the forefront of the HPC revolution in Scotland by providing access to unprecedented computing power to help develop products and processes that will benefit the wider economy.

“That capability could encourage hundreds of businesses to move to the Highlands with the possibility of creating thousands of new jobs in this area. It fits perfectly with our plans to develop a Highland Science Skills Academy and together these pioneering developments could benefit people for generations to come.”

Jim Brophy, Fujitsu’s Client Director, said: “We are delighted to be leading this pioneering project which will benefit forward-thinking companies of all sizes across the Highlands. We are especially pleased to have the support of The Highland Council and Energy North for the pilot.

“Giving businesses and academics access to high-speed, world-class, secure and easy-to-use technology will accelerate innovation and give them a significant competitive advantage.”

Ian Couper, Chief Executive of Energy North, said: “The opportunities presented by HPC are endless. The energy sector is constantly evolving and innovating and this development will help significantly in that process.

“Using HPC could bring vast rewards to the industry and help grow the Highlands’ reputation as a leader in energy research and development – something we are working with the industry to achieve through the Energy North Oil and Gas Taskforce.”

Potentially, the Highlands’ HPC network could be used by any company that has a need to store and analyse vast amounts of complex data, create simulations, develop software or carry out rapid mathematical calculations

Users may be able to ‘timeshare’ on the system by signing up to use HPC when required, with larger firms able to pay for an open contract and smaller companies charged on an hourly basis. The HPC pilot results will suggest the best way forward.

It is felt that providing the capability will encourage companies to re -locate to the Highlands and create employment for local people, and prevent a ‘brain drain’ from the region by providing jobs that are currently not available.

Businesses wishing to register an interest can contact:

Lucid PR 01463 724583


For more information, please contact:

John Ross, Lucid PR: 01463 724593; 077300 99617


Among the projects benefiting from HPC in Wales are;

In Bangor, HPC is being used to process vast quantities of data accumulated through studies on the way children think about healthy eating to try to change their dietary habits.

A firm in Swansea developing a pump implant to treat people with heart conditions says improving the design with a supercomputer means weeks of work can be done in a few days.

Cardiff University is using high-speed computers to improve hydrocarbon exploration by studying millions of years of data on the motion of plates on Earth's surface

A company in Swansea which produces visual software for builders and architects used to take five days to process a job. Now the work takes one day, giving them a competitive advantage.

This information was brought to you by Cision,c9637401

The following files are available for download:,c1538989Jim Brophy

For more stories covering the world of technology, please see HispanicBusiness' Tech Channel

Source: Cision

Story Tools Facebook Linkedin Twitter RSS Feed Email Alerts & Newsletters