The new funding – over five years from 2016-17 – will allow the Pawsey Centre, which now hosts one of the most powerful supercomputers in the world, to support a variety of scientific research disciplines requiring high-level computational, visual and data management resources.
“The State’s long history of support has enabled the centre to become the most successful and long-standing eResearch organisations in Australia,” Mr Barnett said.
“It will allow the best and brightest West Australians to investigate new areas of research which have the potential to enhance the way of life for all West Australians.”
The Pawsey supercomputer is capable of performing a million billion calculations simultaneously every second.
It is used by leading scientific organisations, industry and government to deliver results in the key science priorities identified in ‘A Science Statement for Western Australia – Growing Western Australia’, including radio astronomy, mining and energy, and medicine and health.
The Premier said by providing the computational and data processing power to support research across the State’s science priorities, the centre would help WA build on its areas of comparative advantage.
“The Liberal National Government’s continued funding support for the Pawsey Centre is necessary if WA is to maximise the benefits of its participation in the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) project, one of the world’s largest and most significant scientific projects,” he said.
“Western Australia will benefit enormously from the technological and computational requirements of the SKA project, which will drive new innovations that can readily be applied to all sectors of the economy to produce efficiencies and result in savings.
“The State’s ongoing investment is necessary to attract and retain the highly specialised and technical staff needed to run the facility and to train the next generation of data scientists in high-performance computing capability.”
Building WA’s expertise and capability in data intensive science is crucial if the State is to position itself to compete for the anticipated investment in SKA computing and data storage infrastructure, expected to be in the region of several hundred million dollars.