Manchester awarded 1.9m to pioneer e-science software

10/21/05

The University of Manchester has been awarded 1.9m to form part of a new institute which will pioneer the development of software designed to aid UK research.

Alongside the Universities of Edinburgh and Southampton, Manchester will form part of The Open Middleware Infrastructure Institute-UK (OMII-UK).

The OMII-UK, which is funded by a 6m investment from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), will be chaired by Professor Carole Goble from the University of Manchester's School of Computer Science.

Together, the three centres will develop software, known as middleware, to aid UK research as part of the UK's e-science programme which seeks to develop IT and grid technologies to enable new ways of doing faster, better or different research.

Manchester's work will focus on the development of the myGrid project, which since 2001 has developed a set of knowledge-rich workflow-based tools that have been widely adopted to support biomedical research. This has included research into conditions such as Grave's Disease, Williams-Beuren Syndrome and, more recently, Trypanosomiasis in cattle.

Professor Goble, said: "The formation of OMII-UK represents a major opportunity for all of the institutions involved. It creates a large pool of knowledge and expertise for us all to tap into, and means that the UK will maintain its leadership in e-Science. OMII-UK will mean we can sustain the computing infrastructure needed for our scientists. I look forward to the developments and benefits this partnership brings both to research and to the computer science community."

The Institute will represent a community of some 6000 users establishing it as one of the world's largest e-science initiatives.

The University of Edinburgh is contributing expertise on data access gained through the OGSA-DAI project, which since 2002 has developed middleware that is now used worldwide to support data access and integration from diverse data sources.

The OMII at the University of Southampton was set up in 2004 to provide well-engineered e-Science middleware sourced from the e-Science community. It is working towards its third software distribution, incorporating components from partners in its managed programme.

Source: Eurekalert & others

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