Compute Canada Asks Research Community to Participate in Pan-Canadian Consultations to Forecast Advanced Research Computing Needs in Canada


December 16, 2015 – Compute Canada launched its second round of consultations with Canada’s researchers and research-intensive institutions to develop the Sustainable Planning for Advanced Research Computing Phase II (SPARC2).

Compute Canada is asking for feedback from the broad research community on its data storage requirements and high performance computing needs over the next five years. Here is how to get involved and help shape advanced research computing (ARC) services in Canada:

Participate in the SPARC2 Survey
View In-Person and Online Consultation Details
Download the Call for White Papers

“The foundation for our technology planning is based on our consultations with the research community,” said Dugan O’Neil, Compute Canada Chief Science Officer. “We know we offer more than 10,000 researchers an essential service and the requirements for capacity are increasing, as is the community we serve. We need to hear directly from community members on what their requirements will be over the next five years.”

The ARC needs of the Canadian research community continue to grow as the next generation of scientific instruments are deployed; as ARC becomes relevant to answering key questions in an even broader list of disciplines; as new datasets are gathered and mined in innovative ways; and as technological advances allow researchers to construct ever more precise models of the world around us.

“This forum will provide insight on the types of investment required to enable Canada’s excellence and leadership in science and innovation,” says Mark Dietrich, Compute Canada President and CEO. “Our current investment in ARC in Canada is not keeping pace with the needs of Canadian researchers. Demand for resources has grown each year, even with the new investment, so having a more detailed understanding of how we can maximize resources is paramount.”

Since the launch of SPARC in 2014, much has changed in the Canadian ARC landscape. After the last formal consultations, Compute Canada was awarded a $30M award from the Canada Foundation for Innovation’s (CFI) cyberinfrastructure initiative.

This phase of consultation will gather feedback from users and researchers on the technology deployment plan for the renewal and consolidation of its national platform. It will also provide status and planning updates for the technology refresh program, which will be implemented from 2016 through early 2018. The community’s input in both of these areas will influence Compute Canada’s proposal to the Canada Foundation for Innovation for operating funding through to 2022 as well as future proposals to the CFI for additional capital investment in the pan-Canadian advanced research computing platform.

After the completion of SPARC2, Compute Canada will be releasing its findings on the future needs and growth for research in Canada. Learn more about SPARC2 here.

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 ARC 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 35 partner universities and research institutions across the country provide direct support to research teams. Compute Canada is a proud ambassador for Canadian excellence in advanced research computing nationally and internationally.

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