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Media Release

Senator the Hon Ian Macdonald
Parliamentary Secretary to the
Minister for the Environment

SUPERCOMPUTING PARTNERS LAUNCH RESEARCH PROGRAM


25 August 1998

The Bureau of Meteorology and CSIRO today (Tuesday) launched a program of research and development designed to enhance the contribution that High Performance Computing (HPC) already makes towards Australian science and industry.

Senator Ian Macdonald, the Parliamentary Secretary for the Bureau of Meteorology welcomed the collaborative research workshop being held in Melbourne between the Bureau, CSIRO and NEC that will occur over the next two days.

"The Bureau of Meteorology undertakes many joint projects that are aimed at improving the Bureau's service to the public and identifying better ways to use their technology to serve the community.

"The two agencies joined together in a supercomputing partnership last year when they formed the High Performance Computing and Communications Centre (HPCCC) located at the Bureau's Head Office in Melbourne.

"The HPCCC is providing a powerful new tool for Australian science with the NEC SX-4 supercomputer which is amongst the worlds fifty most powerful research computers," Senator Macdonald said.

NEC Australia supplied the major supercomputer to the HPCCC - a NEC SX-4 computer with 32 processors that is rated to have a peak performance of 64 billion calculations per second.

The Bureau and CSIRO now propose to join with NEC in developing and enhancing the capabilities of the leading-edge high performance facilities currently available, concentrating on:

"Results of the collaboration will assist the Bureau to improve the quality and cost-effectiveness of its research on weather and climate and its delivery of services in operational monitoring and prediction of weather, the ocean state and seasonal conditions to the Australian community.

"The community is benefiting from the use of HPC as it provides more timely and accurate weather predictions, improved climate forecasting and climate change studies and a host of CSIRO applications across many areas of research in biotechnology, manufacturing, mineral exploration and the environment," Senator Macdonald said.

The project will help CSIRO improve the quality and effectiveness of its wide range of scientific and industrial research in areas such as atmospheric research, molecular science, building construction and engineering and minerals research. Revenue from any commercialisation will be shared among the partners.

The collaboration program will commence with an international workshop at the Bureau's Head Office in Melbourne on August 25 and 26.

International experts in the research fields of interest from Canada, U.K., Germany, and Switzerland and from NEC Headquarters in Tokyo will join Bureau and CSIRO scientists and computer specialists to review international developments and commence the detailed planning of individual research projects.

Ends
25 August 1998

For further information contact:
Philip Connole (Office of Senator Macdonald) 07 4771 3066 or 0417 063 605 or
Steve Munro Bureau of Meteorology Joint Bureau/CSIRO High Performance
Phone 03 9669 8101 Fax: 03 9669 8112

Commonwealth of Australia