Getting Started!

WA now has the opportunity to build a remarkable new capability surrounding the IVEC Super Computing Science Engine launched on 15th Nov 2013.

Will we look back in 20 years time and say “we made the most of the opportunities created by the SKA and the IVEC Super Computing Science Engine” or will we wish we did more to leverage the opportunities created by having one of the world’s best super computing facilities? Can we develop a people skill set, located in WA, which is robust to changes in computer hardware innovation, in an environment that helps create innovation, as mega data management grows in importance?

Our current mega data usage strengths in the minerals and petroleum resources, food production, population health and astronomy clusters are all benefiting from mega data collection skills, management and interpretation when applied to real time interaction (esp remote operations), spatial informatics, genetic data analysis and radio astronomy. All these require similar skills and WA could easily become the world centre for mega data innovation if we leverage off what is happening within these focused clusters into a mega data cluster here.

Can we better influence the role out of the NBN such that regional areas are both mega data gathering and mega data users (e.g. Vue Group in Bunbury doing animation and visual effects; real time remote operations in the Pilbara but managed out of Perth)?

Just having computer grunt will not be enough. There are many challenges associated with mega data set management – data security, input format, data delivery pipelines, presentation processes – and some of these will be unique to the data originator. But there are common elements such as evolving hardware and software, data set compatibility (e.g geophysics and spatial information), remote access and real time interactivity that can add value to each cluster.

WA is “skilled-people friendly”, much like Silicon Valley was in the 1980s, and should be able to attract people to develop this opportunity because of its:- high education standards, climate, critical population size, desirable quality of life and its almost instantaneous connectivity to 60% of the world’s population.

The culture of this State is such that cross-industry and cross-research ideas can be more easily tested and leveraged than perhaps anywhere else in the world. But are we doing this in the best possible way? Even the specific specialist cluster groups need nurturing and we need methods to bring the clusters together to share ideas.

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