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Centre for Innovation



The 'eInfrastructure South' Consortium was established in 2011 to look at opportunities for the development of shared research equipment and services. The group includes UCL, Oxford, Southampton and Bristol and in January 2012, was awarded £3.7 million to establish two shared HPC facilities following a successful bid to an EPSRC call for regional e-Infrastructure projects. 

Using this award, the ‘Centre for Innovation’ project has established two services; the general purpose Iridis HPC cluster based at Southampton University, and the Emerald GPGPU cluster based at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory. Emerald is a unique facility within the UK, and among the largest GPGPU systems in Europe.

The UCL News item relating to the award is available here, with detailed information about the eInfrastructure South (eIS) Consortium and  the Centre for Innovation also available on the eIS/CfI website

Following a successful Pilot Phase from May 2012, UCL researchers are now able to apply for access to the CfI facilities.

Acces policy has been determined by the Research Computing Working Group (RCWG) and the CRAG, and is detailed below. Applicants are advised to read the relevant pages describing the facilities at the eIS/CfI website, as well as the policy information prior to completing their application.

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CfI Access Policy

1. CfI Access Policy is owned by the Research Computing Working Group

2. All UCL researchers are able to apply for accounts to use the Iridis and/or Emerald services, regardless of research domain or source of funding.

3. Applicants are required to complete the attached form for the Emerald service only - access to Iridis is done via the standard application form for Research Computing services.

4. Applications will be evaluated according to the following criteria:

Can this project/workload be readily performed on Legion? Examples of reasons it may not be possible to run the workload on Legion may include: need for a large scale GPU resource; genuine and demonstrable need for rapid throughput of workload

Can this project/workload be completed on the national services such as HECToR/ARCHER? Examples of reasons it may not be possible to run the workload on HECToR/ARCHER may  include: EU funding precludes their use; other (genuine) reasons related to access policy; architectural or other technical compatibility concerns; need for a large scale GPU resource

Priority will be given to ‘capability’ and ‘large-scale’ projects/workloads.

Priority will be given to projects that include an element of collaboration between CfI partner institutions (Bristol, Oxford, Southampton and UCL).

Priority will be given to projects that include an element of collaboration with an industrial partner.

5. It will be the responsibility of the applicant to explain/demonstrate how their application meets the above criteria.

6. Applicants may be required to meet with a member(s) of the Research Computing and Facilitating Services group in order to discuss/progress their application, prior to their application being approved/declined.

7. CfI access policies may be subject to change as the Centre evolves and matures.

8. Any other access shall be at the discretion of the RCWG and/or CRAG    

9. CfI Access Policy are enacted by the CRAG via ongoing monthly meetings; applications for access will be a standard agenda item at CRAG meetings, with UCL CfI usage being monitored alongside that of Legion.

10. Incomplete application forms will not be accepted – it is the responsibility of applicants to ensure that they have completed all required fields in order for their application to be reviewed at the next monthly CRAG meeting.

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Application Forms

To apply for an Iridis account, use the Research Computing Services online account request form.

To apply for an Emerald account, UCL researchers must complete the CFI account request form (available as a .doc or a .pdf) and send it to Clare Gryce, Head of Research Computing and Facilitating Services, at c.gryce AT

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Page last modified on 21 nov 13 14:10