Brussels, 7 September 2004
A Euro 52 million package of twelve EU-funded research projects, that together aim to bring “Grid” networked computing out of research labs and into industry, has just been launched by the European Commission. By giving everyone access to the immense computing power and knowledge hitherto available only to the biggest corporations and laboratories, Grid tools will boost business competitiveness and help create new markets and services. Users of Grids are able to monitor and model everything from climate change to how cars behave in collisions. An improved understanding of such behaviours ultimately helps those responsible to take the necessary steps to improve people’s quality of life.
“These projects will accelerate Europe’s drive to turn its substantial Grid research investment into tangible economic benefits”, said Enterprise and Information Society Commissioner Olli Rehn. “Greater use of Grid tools is key for mobilising Europe’s scientific and technological capital to deliver greater competitiveness and better products.”
The bulk of the EU funding is going to 4 projects which each are receiving an EU contribution of around EUR 9 million (see Memo/04/209). Together with 8 smaller projects also now being launched, these bring together dozens of universities, research institutes, large and small companies from across Europe to muster the “critical mass” of expertise and resources necessary to trigger change.
The projects are funded by Information Society Technologies (IST) research,
part of the EU’s sixth research Framework Programme (FP6). Their approach
to Grid research combines “technology push” (developing underlying
technologies and interoperability standards), with “application
pull” (developing the enabling technologies needed for real-world
applications, such as modelling, simulation, data mining and collaborative