UK invests nearly $800M in science, HPC gets $230M chunk

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An article over at London-based today talks about a big investment that the UK is making in science and computing

 Almost £400 million is being made available through the Government’s Large Facilities Capital Fund to provide support for the development of nine multidisciplinary research projects focusing on a variety of areas, including long-term studies of economic, health and social development; the construction of new neutron beams to test the physical behaviours of structures such as turbine blades or the design of new drugs; and the development of modelling software to simulate future climate scenarios and cell interactions.

Details of the computing pieces? 5oM pounds ($100M) for a new computational sciences center at the Daresbury Science and Innovation Campus

 The Hartree Centre – Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) A new world-leading computational sciences centre for the UK. It is intended model complex systems and processes such as climate variability and human biological systems. The centre will build on existing scientific expertise at Daresbury.

And 65M pounds ($130M) toward a next generation supercomputer that will likely serve as (one of) Britain’s contribution to PRACE’s network of petascale centers

High End Computing – Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council. The project involves the procurement of the next generation supercomputer for the UK. This project is likely to form the UK’s initial contribution to the proposed European network of 3 to 5 leading edge computational systems, which will provide European Scientists with a suite of complementary computing capabilities that rival those in the USA and Japan.


  1. The money has not actually been allocated yet. The projects announced have ‘simply’ (even to get this far is good) been approved to be listed on the LFCF roadmap, which means they now have to go through the development and review of a full business & scientific case to get the money they have asked to be earmarked.

    So, no money committed to next generation HPC yet.

    What is good is that, for the first time, more than one HPC programme is on the list, showing the growing status of HPC as a strategic theme.

  2. It’s also worth commenting that HECToR had a £52M contribution from the LFCF, but the overall project value was in excess of £100M. Thus it is reasonable to assume that the £65M quoted for the HECToR successor will be supplemented by additional funding from EPSRC and other research councils.

  3. Andy – thanks for the correction. After reading the story I thought the money had been allocated, not just planned for allocation.

    Do projects tend to get funded once they’re on the list?

  4. No its not guaranteed, but I’d expect both of those to get through. You have to read the docs in detail to see the timescales too. The ‘child of HECToR’ money is not for several years yet. Hartree will probably be sooner, but still over a year away.