The announcement that the Met Office plans to install a supercomputer in a new building complex at Exeter Science Park has been welcomed enthusiastically by leading members of East Devon District Council.
Part of the supercomputer will be sited at the IT Halls at the Met Office HQ in Exeter and part is expected to be sited at a purpose-designed building at the nearby Exeter Science Park, subject to planning permission.
Cllr Ian Thomas, Economy Portfolio Holder at EDDC and a Director of Exeter Science Park Ltd said…
“This is a truly defining day for East Devon and Exeter, with the decision by the Met Office to located their new £97m Supercomputer on the Exeter Science Park, and in their existing Exeter offices. This will take UK weather and climate services into the future”
Location of choice
“Confirmation of the purpose-designed supercomputer facility is great news for the Exeter Science Park. Add our new Exeter Science Park Centre, with both due to open in 2015, and I expect the Exeter Science Park, working with the Met Office and University of Exeter, to become the ‘location of choice’ for our Innovation Community. This will inevitably help create further commercial opportunities for full-time, highly skilled and remunerated employment across the East Devon area from Exeter in the west to Uplyme in the East”.
“For those who share my interest in the technology and to give an idea of just how this significant this is for East Devon, the supercomputer will be supplied by US world-leaders Cray. Weighing in at over 140 tonnes and capable of 16,000 trillion calculations per second, it will be one of the world’s fastest high performance computers, and represents the largest international contract in Cray’s history.”
Councillor Paul Diviani, Leader of East Devon District Council, added:
“This news is a confirmation of the Local Authority partners’ commitment to collaboration in investment in the Science Park and the wider Growth Point, which we confidently expect to become a magnet for high quality jobs and investment and putting East Devon on the map as the place that delivers good growth.
“East Devon District Council planning officers are working closely with Met Office to deliver this high quality development of global significance. A decision is expected in November”.
The Met Office expects its new investment to deliver a ‘step change’ in forecasting accuracy. As a pioneer and world-leader in weather and climate services, the advanced capabilities of the new supercomputer should deliver an estimated £2bn of socio-economic benefits for the UK, through enhanced resilience to severe weather and related hazards.
Choosing the Science Park as a location for the facility is expected to open up different opportunities for the Met Office to collaborate with new, like-minded businesses, science and research establishments and start-ups on innovative science projects.
It will also help establish the vision of a world-leading centre of predictive environmental science in the region, centred on the Science Park.