DOST taps IBM Blue Gene supercomputer

Posted at 05/16/13 4:40 PM

MANILA, Philippines - The world-renowned IBM Blue Gene supercomputer has been picked to support the Philippine government's research and development projects.

In a statement, the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), the University of the Philippines (UP) and IBM said this is a milestone among government-private-academe endeavors.

IBM Blue Gene supercomputer will be the platform for select R&D projects focused on reducing poverty, improving government processes and enabling smarter weather management. The supercomputer is expected to arrive soon in the country.

"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.

"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," she added.

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 Science Secretary Mario G. Montejo.

"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," he added.

The IBM Blue Gene supercomputer can also be used for other projects for flood management and genomics.