Computer network will supercharge research

  • Wayne Mapp
Science and Innovation

The launch of the NeSI network of high-performance computers tomorrow will keep New Zealand researchers at the cutting edge of science, says Science and Innovation Minister Wayne Mapp.

“The NeSI supercomputers will give our researchers an unprecedented ability to turn massive volumes of data into meaningful information," Dr Mapp said.

“This will enable more accurate and higher-quality research, leading to discoveries and insights that will benefit our economy, environment and society."

Over the next four years the Government will invest more than $27.4 million in the National eScience Infrastructure (NeSI) network. The network consists of linked supercomputers and associated services such as software and data storage.

“The creation of the NeSI network will lead to advances that will significantly benefit New Zealand,” the Minister said.

“Scientific research is becoming more information-intensive. The issues that science is tackling, such as climate change, are also increasingly complex.”

The NeSI network brings together new and existing high-performance computing hardware and services supported by the Universities of Auckland, Canterbury and Otago, and Crown research institutes NIWA, AgResearch and Landcare Research.

The six research institutions are co-funding NeSI, adding nearly $21 million to the Government’s investment.

The Minister says the NeSI network will have a diverse range of applications, from designing high-tech devices through to gaining a better understanding of brain diseases and fine-scale weather prediction.

The NeSI network will use the Kiwi Advanced Research and Education Network (KAREN), which provides extremely high capacity broadband to research and education organisations, and some government institutions.

The Government is also increasing funding for KAREN. From 2013/14 it will put an extra $4m a year towards KAREN’s operating costs.

• Dr Mapp will launch the NeSI network at Fale Pasifika, 20 Wynyard St, Auckland, from 3pm-5pm on Friday 24 June