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What is the Grid?

E-science and the Grid

“E-Science means science done through distributed global collaborations enabled by the Internet, using very large data collections, terascale computing resources and high performance visualisation.”

The Grid is a set of technologies to deliver e-science, providing persistent environments that enable software applications to integrate instruments, displays, computational and information resources that are managed by diverse organisations in widespread locations.

Government funding in this area

The UK government has committed over £100m to developing e-science and the grid by allocating money to a core programme and to the Research Councils over the period April 2001-March 2004. This expenditure leverages Britain’s integration with European and American Grid programmes.

Implications for industry

The Research Councils are working at the leading edge of Information Technology together with industry to develop the Grid with their experimental data requirements at the fore. These applications provide testbeds which should act as exemplars for industrial applications of the grid. Innovative Information Communications and Technology companies may take advantage of activity in this area by working together with academic groups to develop capabilities based upon e-Science solutions using Grid technologies.

Applications

  • Workflow planning and enterprise management
  • Medical imaging, diagnosis and planning
  • Bioengineering and bioinformatics
  • New approaches to development of pharmaceutical, electronic and sensor materials
  • Modelling and prediction of large turbulent systems, such as fluid dynamics, pollution and long-range weather prediction
  • Modelling and prediction of evolutionary patterns

Technologies

  • Demonstrating the power and accessibility of Grid ePortals
  • Technologies for managing and mining very large scale distributed information resources
  • New taxonomies for intellectual property and knowledge management
  • Harnessing the power of very large distributed networks of PCs

Web sites and further reference

The core e-science programme is described at www.escience-grid.org.uk

An outreach programme, managed by the DTI, will provide training and introductory seminars. Register at http://www.gridoutreach.org.uk/

For a briefing on the grid and its implications for you, please contact nathan.hill@qi3.co.uk

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