Thursday, May 16, 2013

DOST uses IBM Blue Gene supercomputer towards ‘Smarter Philippines’

THE IBM Blue Gene supercomputer was chosen to bolster the Philippine government's research and development projects. 
IBM’s Blue Gene to enable improved weather prediction 
The Department of Science and Technology (DOST), the University of the Philippines (UP) and IBM announced that this is a milestone in Philippine R&D and among government-private-academe endeavors. 

The supercomputer will served as the platform for select R&D projects focused on reducing poverty, improving government processes, sustained economic growth, peace and order, environment and climate change and smarter weather management. This is expected to arrive soon in the country. 

DOST Secretary Mario G. Montejo said in a turnover ceremony: “This will be the first ever supercomputer to arrive in the Philippines and its mammoth capabilities will push even further our drive towards a Smarter Philippines.” 

"This is a direct result from the agreement between the DOST and IBM in May 2012, to jointly build a Philippine Systems and Technology R&D Lab to help accelerate national economic growth," said Mariels Almeda Winhoffer, president and country general manager, IBM Philippines. 

Winhoffer remarked: "It is IBM’s response to President Aquino’s call for help to support research and development projects to enable transformation and progress in the country. The IBM Blue Gene supercomputer is our concrete contribution to advance R&D initiatives in the country." 

The DOST and IBM will work on how the supercomputer can complement DOST’s Nationwide Operational Assessment of Hazards (Project NOAH), the government’s flagship program and integrated information system for disaster mitigation and climate change. 

The IBM supercomputer will enable local scientists to process and gain insights from the massive data collected, to produce faster, more accurate forecasts and improve localized weather prediction for the country. 

"The IBM Blue Gene supercomputer will be most applicable to DOST’s major programs such as NOAH and Smart Agriculture. First we will work toward Blue Gene’s integration to Project NOAH to provide more advanced seven-day local weather forecasts. We can also use it to run various weather models and validate the accuracy of results almost real-time," said DOST Secretary Montejo. 

He continued: "Smart Agriculture, the newest flagship program of the DOST, will also gain from our newest supercomputing capability in modeling climate change scenarios, building database for agricultural land use, and computing for monthly irrigation requirements per province." 

The IBM Blue Gene supercomputer can support for other projects for flood management and genomics.

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