BP is joining forces with the U.S. government, leading universities and the world’s largest technology companies by providing access to its supercomputer to help researchers halt the spread of COVID-19.
BP will donate its significant supercomputing capability to the public-private consortium formed in March 2020 by the White House’s Office of Science and Technology Policy, the U.S. Department of Energy and IBM.
The group, known as the COVID-19 High Performance Computing Consortium, will pool resources and expertise from Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud, Microsoft, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, BP and others. They aim to provide COVID-19 researchers worldwide with access to the most powerful high-performance computing resources that can significantly advance the pace of scientific discovery in the fight to stop the virus.
BP will provide access to its Center for High-Performance Computing (CHPC) in Houston, which houses one of the world’s largest supercomputers for commercial research and processes enormous amounts of data for BP. It has 16.3 petaflops of computing capability, allowing it to process more than 16 million billion calculations per second and complete a problem in an hour that would take a laptop nine years. The Center’s staff includes experts in data science, applied mathematics, and systems architecture.
BP will also make available the expertise of its Biosciences Center, located in San Diego, California. The center consists of dozens of scientists who have capabilities in biological sciences, chemical engineering and chemistry, and works across BP to support many aspects of its operations. These scientists will work closely with BP’s high-performance computing team to understand research proposals as they come in and help prioritize work.
The sophisticated computing systems available through this consortium can process massive numbers of calculations related to bioinformatics, epidemiology, and molecular modeling, expected to help scientists develop answers to complex scientific questions about COVID-19 in hours or days versus weeks or months.
(Source: BP – Image: BP Center for High-Performance Computing, Westlake campus in Houston)