Hartree Centre


The Hartree Centre is a high performance computing, data analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) research facility focused on industry-led challenges. It was formed in 2012 at Daresbury Laboratory on the Sci-Tech Daresbury science and innovation campus in Cheshire, UK.[2] The Hartree Centre is part of the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) which itself is part of United Kingdom Research and Innovation (UKRI).

Hartree Centre
Established2012 "Cutting edge research facility gets royal seal of approval -". Science and Technology Facilities Council. 2017-05-31. Retrieved 2019-12-02.</ref>
Field of research
High performance computing, data analytics, artificial intelligence
DirectorAlison Kennedy[1]
AddressSci-Tech Daresbury
LocationDaresbury, United Kingdom
Operating agency
Science and Technology Facilities Council


The Hartree Centre takes its name from English mathematician and physicist Douglas Rayner Hartree. It was formed in 2012 with £37.5 million government funding for research into supercomputing.[3] The centre’s purpose is to provide UK industry and academia with access to advanced high performance computing technologies, expertise and training to boost UK economic growth and "to develop technologies such as batteries for mobile phones".[4]

In 2014, the centre was allocated an additional £19 million for research into energy efficient computing and big data, such as that which will be generated by the Square Kilometre Array.[5]

In the 2014 Autumn Statement, government announced a further investment of £115 million for the centre over five years, to fund future scientific discovery in research areas including cognitive computing and big data analytics.[6] This was part of the Northern Powerhouse strategy to boost economic growth in the North of England.[7]

In 2014, the Hartree Centre became an official Intel Parallel Computing Centre.[8]

The Hartree Centre is a base for one of the IBM Research teams in the UK[9] and the University of Liverpool Virtual Engineering Centre.[10]

According to the Annual Report from 2017-2018, the Hartree Centre was funded with £115.5mm for the financial year ending 31 March 2018.[11][: 51 


The Hartree Centre hosts a number of supercomputing platforms including:[citation needed]

In 2017, Scafell Pike became the first Bull Sequana X1000 to be installed in the UK.[12] The centre also houses large scale GPFS storage and experimental technologies such as a Maxeler FPGA system, ARM 64-bit platform, a ClusterVision-built novel cooling demonstrator based on mineral oil, and Intel Xeon Phi co-processing technologies.[citation needed]

Past TechnologiesEdit

The Hartree Centre formerly hosted supercomputer Blue Joule, an IBM Blue Gene/Q. In June 2012, the year of its installation at Daresbury Laboratory, the TOP500 project ranked Blue Joule as the most powerful non-distributed computing system in the UK and 13th in the world.[13]

In 2016, Blue Joule was upcycled into the DiRAC facility[14] at the Institute for Computational Cosmology, Durham University.

Energy Efficient ComputingEdit

In 2012, the centre was awarded government funding to strengthen UK competitiveness in areas including big data and energy efficient computing.[citation needed]

Energy efficient computing is becoming an influential research topic for the future sustainability of high performance computing, the Hartree Centre is carrying out research which takes a holistic view of parallel computing systems, including the optimisation of software to make it run more efficiently, low power architectures, data storage, cooling methods and other factors.[citation needed]

In 2015 Lenovo entered into partnership with the centre to develop energy efficient computing solutions using an ARM-based server prototype.[15]

Work With IndustryEdit

The Hartree Centre works with academic researchers and companies in a wide range of industries, on projects including software development and optimisation, big data analytics, collaborative R&D and training.

Notable ProjectsEdit

  • As of 2013, the Hartree Centre had a long-term partnership with Unilever[16] to develop their R&D processes and make better use of high performance computing, specifically computer aided formulation. One of the research projects undertaken resulted in an “app” that focuses on ease of use to put complex supercomputing tools in the hands of chemists. The tool is claimed to enable product experimentation that would previously take a week to be carried out in 40 minutes.[17]
  • In 2014 the centre ran a competition in partnership with the Open Data Institute and IBM. Entrepreneurs were allowed to submit their concepts to use publicly available open data for commercial applications. The winning ideas were given time on the Hartree Centre machines with IBM data scientists to prove their concept was commercially viable. One winning company, UK SME Democrata, has created a tool through the project, which analyses and maps open data from a variety of archaeological, geological and land based sources to help large construction and infrastructure companies and projects to predict risk and avoid disturbing sites of historical significance.[18][19] The tool uses two components of IBM Watson and Hadoop data repositories.[20]
  • In June 2015, Minister for Universities and Science Jo Johnson announced a renewed partnership between the Hartree Centre and IBM[21] which provides the centre with access to £200 million worth of IBM's data-centric and cognitive computing technologies and expertise, including IBM Watson.[22][23]
  • In May 2016, the Hartree Centre announced a collaboration with Alder Hey Children's Hospital to create the UK's first "cognitive hospital", using the IBM Watson cognitive computing platform to improve the patient journey and experience.[24] The project won "Most Innovative Collaboration" at the North West Coast Research and Innovation Awards 2017.[25] The Alder Play app was launched and made available to the public in December 2017, featuring the Ask Oli chat feature in beta.[26]
  • From 2016 to 2019 the centre was one of five partners in the LCR 4.0 project to accelerate Industry 4.0 technologies into SMEs in the Liverpool City Region. The project's success was recognised locally[27][28] and nationally and named by the Financial Times as one of Europe's 100 Digital Champions.[29]
  • In June 2019, the Industrial Digitalisation Accelerator was launched, a collaboration with Siemens and Atos enabling businesses to access, explore and integrate Industry 4.0 technologies in a low-risk environment.[30]

See alsoEdit

External linksEdit

  • The Hartree Centre


  1. ^ "Meet the team". Hartree Centre. 2016. Retrieved 2019-12-02.
  2. ^ "Capabilities - High Performance Computing". Sci-Tech Daresbury. Archived from the original on 2015-03-16. Retrieved 2015-05-21.
  3. ^ "Scientist to benefit from exascale supercomputer deal". The IET. Archived from the original on 2013-07-19. Retrieved 2015-05-21.
  4. ^ "£30m grant announced by George Osborne at Daresbury Science Park". 1 February 2013. Retrieved 21 May 2015.
  5. ^ "£30 million to lead global computing technology". STFC. Archived from the original on 28 November 2014. Retrieved 21 May 2015.
  6. ^ "Weaver Vale MP - £115 million funding for Hartree Centre". Chester on the web. Archived from the original on 2015-09-16. Retrieved 2015-05-21.
  7. ^ "Northern powerhouse: Chancellor visits science hubs in the north-west". Gov.uk. 6 January 2015.
  8. ^ "Intel Selects STFC's Hartree Centre as Newest IPCC". HPC Wire. 7 July 2014. Retrieved 2018-03-20.
  9. ^ "STFC Hartree Centre strengthens strategic partnership to benefit UK businesses". STFC. 9 May 2016.
  10. ^ "Virtual Engineering Centre - Locations". University of Liverpool,Virtual Engineering Centre. n.d.
  11. ^ Science and Technology Facilities Council (July 2018). Annual Report and Accounts 2017-18. p. 91. OCLC 1053748833.
  12. ^ "Hartree Centre to take delivery of a new supercomputer". Scientific Computing World. 20 January 2017.
  13. ^ "TOP500 List - June 2012". TOP500.
  14. ^ "Upcycled COSMA6 Supercomputer Finds New Life at Durham University". InsideHPC. 3 August 2017.
  15. ^ Judge, Peter (19 February 2015). "Lenovo and UK boffins optimize ARM servers for HPC". Retrieved 26 June 2015.
  16. ^ Begum, Sheila (20 Feb 2013). "Unilever forms partnership with The Science and Technology Facilities Council". Manchester Evening News. Retrieved 26 June 2014.
  17. ^ "HPC 'App' for Industry Stresses Ease of Use". HPC Wire. 8 April 2014. Retrieved 24 June 2015.
  18. ^ Rutkin, Ava. "Data archaeology helps builders avoid buried treasure". New Scientist. Retrieved 26 June 2015.
  19. ^ Evans, Jon (9 April 2015). "Big data and archaeology". Orange Business Blog. Retrieved 26 June 2015.
  20. ^ Clark, Lindsay. "Businesses dig for treasure in open data". Computer Weekly. Retrieved 26 June 2015.
  21. ^ Clay, Oliver (4 June 2015). "Daresbury Laboratory in £313m big data deal with IBM". Liverpool Echo. Retrieved 25 June 2015.
  22. ^ Onita, Laura (4 June 2015). "£200m government deal with IBM to boost big data". Engineering and Technology Magazine. Archived from the original on 14 June 2015. Retrieved 25 June 2015.
  23. ^ "VIDEO: Town to benefit from 'huge' economic boost after unveiling of £313m partnership deal". Warrington Guardian. 4 June 2015. Retrieved 25 June 2015.
  24. ^ Taylor, Joshua (2016-05-14). "AI machine called Watson to answer kids' questions ahead of hospital stays". liverpoolecho. Retrieved 2016-12-23.
  25. ^ "North West Coast award winners". Innovation Agency NWC.
  26. ^ "Alder Hey introduces a revolutionary children's hospital app to transform patient care across the NHS". Alder Hey Children's Hospital.
  27. ^ Hayley Sewell (2019-06-13). "LCR 4.0 to generate £31m and 955 jobs". www.businesscloud.co.uk. Retrieved 2019-12-02.https://www.businesscloud.co.uk/news/lcr-40-to-generate-31m-and-955-jobs
  28. ^ Stephen Chapman (2019-06-13). "Europe-backed tech programme to create 955 jobs in 3 years". Prolific North. Retrieved 2019-12-02.
  29. ^ "Europe's 100 Digital Champions". Financial Times. Retrieved 11 July 2019.
  30. ^ Ghayour, Philip (2019-06-28). "Launch of ground-breaking accelerator to help businesses adopt industry 4.0 technologies". Retrieved 2019-12-02.

Coordinates: 53°20′41″N 2°38′18″W / 53.3446°N 2.6383°W / 53.3446; -2.6383