GIS – 27 August , 2015: An awareness workshop on High Performance Computing (HPC), aiming to take stock of HPC needs of potential users, opened yesterday at Cyber Tower 1, in Ebène Cyber-city, in the context of the setting up of a National Centre for High Performance Computing (CHPC).

Organised at the initiative of the Mauritius Research Council (MRC), a department operating under the Ministry of Technology, Communication and Innovation, the one and a half-day workshop is bringing together several local stakeholders, including academics, researchers and representatives of public and private sector.

Presentations and discussions are focusing on the following: The Pivotal Role of the Cyberinfrastructure Commons in the Knowledge Triangle; HPC and Big Compute with Microsoft Azure; Strategic path for setting up of a CHPC; and Big Data Analytics for High Performance Data Centre.

Resource persons are from the Department of Science and Technology (DST), Pretoria, South Africa; Centre for High Performance Computing (HPC), South Africa; IBM Middle East and Africa (MEA); Microsoft West, East and Central Africa; and, Oracle East Central Europe, Middle East & Africa.

Speaking on behalf of the Minister of Technology, Communication and Innovation, the chief technical officer, ICT, Mr Hawabhay, stated that HPC has become a high priority area for both Governments and organisations.

Computing processing needs, he pointed out, are expected to soar in the coming years as a result of a redefined global digital ecosystem which will be characterised by transformative technologies such as data analytics, artificial intelligence and neural networks, cloud computing, Internet of things.

Government’s commitment to bring Mauritius to the next stage of economic growth by 2020, and the key role in taking this agenda forward by harnessing innovation technologies such as HPC, was also highlighted by the chief technical officer.

As regards the CHPC, the chief technical officer observed that to ensure its proper implementation, the TCI Ministry will put in place a proper governance structure for the centre together with its guiding principles and policies. Initially the CHPC will be coordinated by the MRC, but in the long term, it is envisaged that the CHPC will operate as an independent body under the Ministry of TCI, he added.

National Centre for High Performance Computing

It is recalled that as part of its mission to promote innovation in Mauritius, the Ministry of Technology, Communication and Innovation through the Mauritius Research Council has initiated the process for setting-up a National Centre for High Performance Computing (CHPC).

The objective is to provide state of the art high performance computing infrastructure, sophisticated software and associated facilities to enable cutting edge high impact research, including big data processing, storage and development of specialized algorithms for Business Analytics.

It is expected that the CHPC will enhance the Mauritius’ competitiveness especially in the African region, as well as promote collaboration among local and regional researchers and scientists, policymakers and the business community.