You are here: Home

Welcome to the Centre for Innovation

About us

The Centre for Innovation is a consortium is formed through a partnership of the Universities of Bristol, Oxford, Southampton and UCL. Formed in 2011, the consortium has the express aim of exploring and exploiting opportunities for the co-development and sharing of e-infrastructure capabilities (hardware, applications software, user support services and people and skills) across the founding institutions and through linkages with other academic and industrial partners across the South of England.

Our Aims

The strategic aim of the consortium is to co-develop, support and share e-infrastructure resources between the members, other research institutions and industry.
    • Taking a lead role in applying the knowledge, expertise and leading edge resources available from within the consortium to the challenges faced by industry;
    • Providing access routes to consortium resources for other research institutions in the region and elsewhere to enable or expand local computational research activities;
    • Fostering an environment of collaboration where computationally enabled research projects can be co-developed and executed within the consortium partners, across the region and the UK.

Our Achievements

The CfI was established through an investment of £3.7M of EPSRC funds to provide two distinctive HPC resources, focused around traditional HPC cluster computing (IRIDIS) and "novel" GPU based computing (Emerald).

In its first six months of operation the 'Consortium attracted over 250 active users from within the consortium universities, working on a diverse range of research applications ranging from modelling of tsunami at UCL, simulating their impact on coastlines (informing emergency service response plans as well as insurance pricing) to gaining insight into swine flu’s resistance to currently available antivirals such as Relenza and Tamiflu (Bristol).

In this time we have also attracted users from SMEs in the region who are directly engaged in using the Emerald system (Zenotech and Cresset), a resource which would otherwise not be available to them. As well as creating new linkages, the investments made in the Centre are also underpinning existing industrial-academic collaborations within the consortium. An example of which is the use of IRIDIS in computational fluid dynamics activity by Southampton’s Wolfson Unit. The Unit engages with SMEs and large companies ranging from locally based Americas Cup yacht designers to Rolls Royce helping to drive increases in sports performance as well as contributing to UK GDP through innovation in manufacturing.

In addition to providing raw compute power and underpinning collaboration the Centre has also brought together world class best with best expertise to drive forward research capability via HPC code development. Early fruit of this has been the collaboration between Dr Serge Guillas (UCL) and Prof. Mike Giles (Oxford) in re-writing the VOLNA tsunami modelling code used by Dr Guillas' group to take full advantage of EMERALD.

Please see out case study section for further information on the above and more.