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REF NO.: 96

SUBJECT: National plan for unprecedented access to computing infrastructure for researchers
DATE: Nov. 5, 2005

A group of renowned computer researchers has developed a long-range plan for high performance computing (HPC) in Canada – a strategic direction designed to ensure that Canadian researchers gain access to state-of-the-art computing infrastructure and that Canadian citizens reap the benefits of unprecedented advances across all fields including science, engineering, medicine, the social sciences, and some aspects of the humanities.

Dr. Christopher Loomis, chair of the board of directors of Atlantic Computational Excellence Network (ACEnet) and vice-president (research) at MemorialUniversity, announced today that ACEnet fully endorses Canada’s first-long range plan (LRP) for HPC. “In order that Canadastays in the forefront of knowledge creation and innovation, we need to have a co-ordinated strategy to develop both the HPCcapacity and the highly qualified people to support it. This plan proposes the same sort of sharing and collaboration across the entire nation as ACEnet has achieved in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador and Prince Edward Island.”

Developed with the support of the C3.ca Association Inc. (www.c3.ca), the plan aims to identify new opportunities in research and development, and strengthen Canada’s competitiveness in the global economy. It calls for sustained funding for high performance computing infrastructure, including the computing resources and the highly qualified personnel needed to make effective use of this investment. This initiative builds on the $240 million invested by the federal and provincial governments, universities, and industry in HPCover the last decade. It also recommends the creation of a national agency to provide HPC training for the academic and industry research communities. It will also be a source of leadership and overall coordination for HPCin Canada.

“This plan represents a major step for Canada,” said Dr. Kerry Rowe, vice- principal (research) of Queen’s University and chair of the C3.ca’s Long-Range Plan Authors’ Panel. “After conferring with national and international experts, we are now able to present to the Canadian public a compelling case for the economic benefits and research opportunities that will be generated from a commitment in this area.”

C3.ca, founded to serve the needs of the HPCuser community from across Canada, embraces universities, colleges, industry and government. Members share resources, people, tools and information over advanced computational networks to advance groundbreaking research and innovation. C3.ca is supported in part through membership fees and significant contributions by the National Research Council.

ACEnet is Atlantic Canada’s HPC network, championed by the University of New Brunswick, Saint Mary’s University, St. Francis Xavier University, Memorial University and recently joined by Dalhousie. ACEnet works with other similar networks, Sharcnet, SciNet and HPCVL in Ontario, Clumeq and RQCHP in Quebec and West Grid in the four Western Provinces to provide modern tools for research and science. ACEnet is supported by the Canada Foundation for Innovation, ACOA and provincial agencies.

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