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Monday, 22 July, 2002, 15:56 GMT 16:56 UK
Computer experts back the 'Grid'
Grid conference
Hundreds of computer experts met in Edinburgh
UK scientists have unveiled a blueprint for the evolution of a new computer technology - dubbed internet mark two.

Researchers from the National e-Science Centre (NeSC), based in Edinburgh, have set out a framework for development of the "Grid".

They hope the Grid will ensure vast computing resources around the world can be harnessed and shared to tackle some of the biggest challenges in medicine, physics, astronomy and engineering.

The announcement came as more than 1,000 computer experts from all over the world met in the Scottish capital for the 5th Global Grid Forum - the first time the event has been held outside the US.

Malcolm Atkinson
Malcolm Atkinson: "The Grid must be accessible"
Ultimately, it is hoped that commercial and domestic users will be able to share in Grid technology.

Individual domestic users will be able to plug into massive computing capacity around the world.

This will allow a turbocharged version of the internet in which complex calculations can be carried out instead of simply downloading data.

The new framework for the development of the Grid is an attempt by the NeSC to position itself at the front of efforts to bring the evolution of shared environments forward.

It will enable the computing power of e-science research teams around the world to be shared to tackle massive projects that they would not be able to attempt with their own resources.

Computing power

The Data Access and Integration (DAI) program is a "major milestone", according to Professor Malcolm Atkinson, director of the NeSC.

He said: "In just five months we've developed these guidelines for a set of standards that will sit at the heart of Grid development around the world."

"If the Grid is to live up to its promises, it needs to be accessible to many people for many different uses. The work we've done helps to make that possible."

Professor Tony Hey, director of the UK's core e-science program, said: "The pioneering work of the UK team paves the way for the Grid to happen. We expect to see a series of prototypes based on this research released in the coming weeks and months."

See also:

22 Jul 02 | Scotland
25 Apr 02 | Science/Nature
03 Apr 01 | Health
27 Jul 01 | Scotland
02 Aug 01 | Science/Nature
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