Compute Canada to play a vital role in renewing Canada’s national research computing infrastructure


Canada Foundation for Innovation Investments in Cyberinfrastructure Will Enhance Canada’s Competitive Edge in Research and Innovation

Waterloo, Ontario – July 30, 2015. Compute Canada and its regional partners ACENET, Calcul Quebec, Compute Ontario and WestGrid will manage and coordinate the process that will lead to the renewal and consolidation of Canada’s national platform for advanced research computing.

At an event earlier today at the University of Waterloo, Peter Braid, Member of Parliament for Kitchener-Waterloo, announced a $30 million investment from the Government of Canada through the Canada Foundation for innovation. The new funds will be used to replace 24 ageing systems with four new systems offering improved services and capacity to accelerate research results. The new hubs will be hosted at the University of Waterloo, the University of Toronto, Simon Fraser University and the University of Victoria.

“We applaud the Government of Canada’s commitment to investing in digital research infrastructure that fuels a competitive and innovative economy. This capacity will give our research community the tools they need to achieve greater impact more quickly, translating into new discoveries, economic return on investment, as well as increased skills and expertise in our workforce, regardless of industrial sector or scientific discipline. This is a win for Canada and a win for research and innovation,” says Mark Dietrich, President and Chief Executive Officer at Compute Canada.

“We fund a variety of different projects and increasingly these are collaborative projects where engineers in our companies and engineers in universities will have to work together. That requires many projects to use the same computing architecture, if not the same computing platform and for the work we support, that will be Compute Canada. It’s in our interest to see that platform optimized,” says Fassi Kafyeke, Senior Director Strategic Technology and Advanced Product Development, Bombardier Aerospace, Montreal.

In its role managing and coordinating the development and operations of the new national platform, Compute Canada will be able to rely on a network of 200 experts at 33 institutions. These university employees will provide expert assistance to students, faculty and staff in all aspects of high performance computing for research, from simulation, data analytics, computer programming and model development, analysis of results, visualization, and training.

“The strength and experience from all four sites and teams will benefit researchers and their international and industrial partners across Canada,” says Dr. Greg Newby, Compute Canada’s Chief Technology Officer. “This concentration of investment will position Canada to competitively meet the growing needs of data and computationally intensive research and ensure we continue to support science excellence and innovation.”

All research disciplines have identified an increasing demand for infrastructure over the next five years. In some cases, this is due to a constant progression of the field towards more complex models and more compute-intensive approaches as they model the world around us and develop new innovative products.

“Common to all areas is the need for expert personnel to enable efficient use of resources in cutting-edge research,” says Dr. Dugan O’Neil, Compute Canada’s Chief Science Officer. “Working with Compute Canada, these experts will serve Canada’s world-class researchers in areas such as genomics, advanced manufacturing, and exploring complex systems such the universe.”

Compute Canada’s plan includes early procurement of a national storage cloud , followed by a staged deployment of the four large computer systems. Approximately 25 percent of the total capital investment will go to storage resources.


Kelly Nolan
Executive Director, External Affairs
Directrice Administrative des Affaires Extérieures
(c) 819.598.2910
(f) 416.907.1555

Quick Facts:

  • Discovery and innovation are accelerated through advanced research computing. Compute Canada manages more than 20 petabytes of storage and 2 petaflops of computing resources and supports all of Canada’s major science investments and programs.
  • Research teams and their international partners work with industry giants in the automotive, ICT, aerospace and manufacturing sectors to drive innovation and new products to market.
  • Advanced research computing is essential infrastructure for solving today’s grand challenges in science, society and innovation. Canadian researchers leverage their access to expert support and infrastructure to participate in international initiatives.
  • Compute Canada has more than 18 years of experience in accelerating results from industrial partnerships in advanced research computing and Canada’s major science investments.
  • Researchers using advanced research computing rate significantly higher in citations than the average from Canada’s top research universities and any international discipline average.

About Compute Canada

Compute Canada, in partnership with regional organizations ACENET, Calcul Québec, Compute Ontario and WestGrid, leads the acceleration of research and innovation by deploying state-of-the-art advanced research computing (ARC) systems, storage and software solutions. Together we provide essential digital research services and infrastructure for Canadian researchers and their collaborators in all academic and industrial sectors. Our world-class team of more than 200 experts employed by 33 partner universities and research institutions across the country provide direct support to research teams and industrial partners.

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