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ORION: Researchers need more computing resources

July 4, 2014  

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A new report issued by ORION cautions that Ontario researchers do not have the advanced computing resources they need, hindering their productivity and ability to compete internationally.

ORION, is an acronym for the Ontario Research and Innovation Optical Network, a fiber-optic network enabling research and innovation across the province.

The organization conducted face-to-face interviews with 50 research groups across seven Ontario universities and research institutions.

When asked about their access to advanced computing including hardware and software infrastructure, as well as highly-qualified personnel 80%of respondents said current resources are not sufficient to meet their research needs. The study estimates that researchers are losing approximately one day of productivity per week due to these constraints.

“Nearly all modern research has come to rely on advanced computing,” said Darin Graham, ORION president and CEO. “It’s absolutely vital that we explore solutions to support current and future demand.”

Advanced computing, the organization said, refers to specialized software or hardware not widely available to the general public (as opposed to common word processing or Internet tools), typically requiring highly-qualified personnel to utilize and support it.

Common examples include high-performance computing (e.g., simulations, modeling, etc.); cloud computing for research; data management, sharing, and storage, and instrumentation/sensor networks that are computer-mediated.


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