Partnering with industry

28 October 2021

Partnership with industry is a core principle of EPCC and one of the reasons the Centre has continued to grow and develop since our foundation in 1990.

Our industrial collaborations come in a variety of forms: from short-term engagements that are directly funded by industry to longer term research collaborations that include a blend of private and public funding.

Short-term industry engagements are often characterised by working at a high technology readiness level (TRL) and typically include business critical activities that bring rewarding challenges around delivery, pace, and expectation. EPCC’s Applications Group structure provides an excellent pathway to manage and deliver these types of projects. It also underpins one of our key advantages which is that we do not need to recruit specifically to resource particular projects.

New collaborations

This year continues to be a busy one for us with several industrial engagements continuing and new projects underway.

We are starting a new collaboration with Danu Robotics (see post Applying machine learning to the recycling industry), supporting the development of its revolutionary robotic system for recycling and waste management which will significantly increase recycling efficiency.

We are also completing the next phase of work with Bo-Create. This local technology SME in the property & construction sector is now based in the Bayes Centre, the University of Edinburgh’s innovation hub for data science and artificial intelligence (and also home to EPCC). We are providing support and expertise to Bo-Create’s new product release and additional R&D activities.

We often support industry with respect to cloud architecture and optimising products in this space. One such new collaboration is with Optic Earth, an SME using machine learning to extract value from geophysical data, enabling its customers to make better & more sustainable decisions in the energy and mining sectors. EPCC is providing cloud architecture and data expertise to support Optic Earth’s continued development and growth.

HPC on demand

Targeted at engineers and scientists solving complex simulation and modelling problems, our on-demand HPC service gives direct, secure access to EPCC’s HPC platforms to deliver the highest levels of performance.

Unlike cloud-based services, there are no inefficient virtualisation techniques. The highest levels of data security are provided, and the service is administered directly by the user. The service is fully supported by an integrated help desk and EPCC staff are available to help with usage problems.

We are continuing to expand our on-demand access programmes for industrial users of world class HPC infrastructure, and with new infrastructure coming online, notably ARCHER2, EIDF and Cerebras CS-1, we expect increased activity in this area. New project collaborations have started across a wide variety of sectors including energy, pharma and digital technology. EPCC’s pay-per-use simulation-as-a-service collaborations with ENGYS and Gexcon also continue to thrive, with several new user projects starting this year.   

With a return to the Bayes Centre on the horizon we are looking forward to further exciting industrial collaborations.

Image shows Cerebras CS-1, the world’s fastest AI computer, hosted at EPCC’s Advanced Computing Facility.