Construction work begins on new £30m supercomputing centre

The new data centre will support the £210m Hartree National Centre for Digital Innovation (HNCDI) programme, providing industry access to state-of-the-art digital technologies and expertise.

A group of people stood in front of a construction site.
STFC Hartree Centre staff marking the milestone on the 60th anniversary of STFC Daresbury Laboratory, 14 July 2022

The planning and preparatory work of a new start-of-the-art 33,000 sq ft supercomputing centre is now complete and building work is imminent.​ The new supercomputing centre is part of the £210m Hartree National Centre for Digital Innovation (HNCDI) investment announced in 2021, comprising £172m in Government funding via UK Research and Innovation combined with​ a £38m in-kind contribution from IBM.

The Hartree National Centre for Digital Innovation offers businesses and public sector access to world-leading expertise in innovative artificial intelligence (AI) and quantum computing technologies, cutting-edge computing facilities and training opportunities that will aid breakthroughs in discovery and innovation.

“Here at the Hartree Centre, we are fully committed to providing an environment where UK science and businesses of all sizes can be at the very forefront of global research and development in the very latest digital technologies, such as AI and quantum computing. Providing access to these technologies and support enables businesses to reduce risk, increase productivity and achieve success, to the benefit of our economy, both here in the North West and nationally.”

Kate Royse, Director of the Hartree Centre

The joint programme between the UK’s Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) and IBM, will expand to include 60 additional scientists, to join the 130 existing staff within the Hartree Centre, which is part of the STFC Daresbury Laboratory. The new supercomputing centre will build on the ground-breaking research carried out at Daresbury Laboratory since 1962, which has helped in the creation of new cancer therapies, cleaner fuel and energy.

(Left to right: Paul Vernon (Head of STFC Daresbury Laboratory), Kate Royse (Director, Hartree Centre) and David Cable (Associate Director – Resources, Hartree Centre).

“Every day there’s incredible research happening right here which has the potential to improve our lives. On our 60th anniversary, we remain today as committed as we have ever been to supporting excellent research and providing access to world-class research facilities and expertise to solve real world challenges.”

Paul Vernon, Head of STFC Daresbury Laboratory

Home to some of the UK’s most advanced technologies in computing, data science and artificial intelligence (AI), the Hartree Centre is one of the UK’s only supercomputing centres dedicated to industry applications. Businesses can access specialist expertise and supercomputers that are normally only available to academia and large-scale industry, reducing the time and cost of developing new products.

​Based alongside the Hartree Centre on the Sci-Tech Daresbury campus, the new supercomputing centre will become another significant technology asset for the Liverpool City Region. Today, the rapidly expanding campus is home to more than 150 technology companies, ranging from pioneering high-tech start-ups to major international firms such as IBM Research, Hitachi Hi-Tech Europe and Croda.

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