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Trans-Tasman bond strengthened as NZ gives $380k for big data project

29 Aug 17

The Australian Government requested support in the form of funding for a project that will develop an operating system for managing large amounts of science data in real time.

In response, New Zealand has put forward AUD $350,000 (over NZ $380,000) in funding which will go towards a collaboration between Kiwi company Nyriad and the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research in Western Australia (ICRAR).

Science and Innovation Minister Paul Goldsmith announced the initiative, saying “Australia is a major science and innovation partner for New Zealand, and this new collaboration is another step sign that our relationship continues to grow and thrive following the signing of the Cooperation Agreement earlier this year.”

The technology resulting from the collaboration has the potential to be applied to the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) radio telescope, the world’s largest scientific venture.

“There is no supercomputer system yet in existence that can handle the data that the SKA will generate. This project is looking to solve the high-performance computing challenges of the future, and places Nyriad at the forefront of this potentially game-changing technology,” adds Goldsmith.

Nyriad is a Cambridge-based company specialising in advanced data storage solutions for big data and high-performance computing.

Nyriad has developed technology for performing data processing and storage together on Graphics Processing Units (GPUs).

ICRAR is a joint venture between the University of Western Australia and Curtin University, with funding from the Western Australian state government.

The project will use the hardware and data from the Murchison Widefield Array (MWA) radio telescope in Western Australia to test Nyriad’s technology. The MWA is a precursor telescope to the SKA.

In addition, funding will come from New Zealand's The Catalyst Fund, which is managed by the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment.

The Catalyst Fund supports international collaborations which have strategic benefit to New Zealand.

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