Supporting Advanced Computing to Accelerate Discovery and Innovation in Ontario

Monday, January 30, 2017

Media Release: Ministry of Research, Innovation and Science

New Strategy Will Support Research, Increase Competitiveness 

January 27, 2017 12:00 P.M.
Ontario has launched a new strategy that will support leading researchers and help transform their discoveries into innovations that companies and entrepreneurs can bring to global markets. 
The Advanced Research Computing and Big Data Strategy will support researchers by providing the technology to analyze data more comprehensively, which would help accelerate the process of discovery. Interpreting big data using advanced computing capabilities can help researchers determine a person's risk for developing certain diseases, improve healthcare outcomes for premature babies and boost farm operations to create positive environmental impacts.
The strategy will focus on:
  • Upgrading infrastructure at Ontario's advanced research computing sites and increasing system-wide coordination
  • Developing a pool of new talent in advanced research computing and big data by helping support the development and retention of experts in this field in Ontario
  • Building on the province's work to help investigate causes and treatments for cerebral palsy, depression, epilepsy and autism
  • Sparking new business growth and scale-up opportunities by helping businesses access advanced computing platforms
Supporting research and innovation is part of our plan to create jobs, grow our economy and help people in their everyday lives. 
" Ontario’s Advanced Research Computing and Big Data Strategy will make our province a national leader in one of the most important technology sectors of the 21st century. These investments will ensure Ontario has the people, infrastructure and systems in place to turn research questions into innovations that Ontario entrepreneurs and businesses can take to global markets." 
- Reza Moridi
Minister of Research, Innovation and Science
" Ontario’s investments in advanced computing will help leverage the province’s existing strengths in computer science and mathematics, and train people to analyze the massive amounts of data generated by Ontario’s researchers and transform them into useful insights. This new strategy will drive innovation by equipping researchers with the information they need to make new breakthroughs, which in turn will help strengthen Ontario’s global position." 
- Deb Matthews
Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Development and Minister Responsible for Digital Government
" We are pleased to partner with the province and co-ordinate advanced research computing in Ontario. The province’s researchers increasingly depend on advanced computing to drive innovation and enhance competitiveness in the global market place. By acting as a central hub, we’ll work with universities, colleges and hospitals to ensure Ontario’s researchers get the tools and resources they need to further their research, resulting in new discoveries." 
- Nizar Ladak
President and Chief Executive Officer, Compute Ontario
  • The Advanced Research Computing and Big Data Strategy is an investment of $75 million over five years. It will support Ontario’s leading researchers and help transform their discoveries into innovations that companies and entrepreneurs can bring to global markets. 
  • Big data is data that is too complex to be processed by standard computers. Advanced research computing uses very large computer systems, including storage, data management, networking and visualization to help solve complex problems.
  • Ontario’s investment will also leverage an estimated $97 million in additional funding for researchers through co-funding by the federal government and participating institutions.
  • Ontario has invested more than $126 million in advanced research computing sites since 2001, which supports $2.45 billion in world-class research each year. 
  • As part of the strategy, Compute Ontario will coordinate advanced research computing in the province. Compute Ontario is a non-profit corporation established by Ontario universities in 2014 to oversee advanced research computing in the province.
  • This is part of the province’s Open Government commitment, which encourages the open exchange of information to unlock the latent power of data. The government has released data on the Open Data website that people can use to develop new business ideas and solve everyday problems.
  • The new strategy aligns with Ontario’s five-year, $400-million Business Growth Initiative, which is helping to grow the economy and create jobs by promoting an innovation-based economy, helping small companies scale-up and modernizing regulations for businesses.