The University of Oxford has received £5.5 million from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and will lead a national project for research into artificial intelligence.

The funding will be used to provide supercomputing services which will aid scientific research throughout the UK.

Oxford will lead the Joint Academic Data Science Endeavour (known as JADE 2) set up by the investment.

JADE 2 will be hosted at the Hartree Centre in Cheshire, providing state-of-the-art computing facility for research into Artificial Intelligence (AI), machine learning, and molecular dynamics. It will be run as a national facility, with free access to academics through a Resource Allocation Panel.

The project will be led by Professor Wes Armour, Department of Engineering Science. Professor Armour told Cherwell: “JADE 2 will deliver AI advances across a wide range of different sectors, financial services, manufacturing, retail, the public sector, energy and healthcare.

“By supporting the new UKRI Artificial Intelligence Centres for Doctoral training, JADE 2 will support the education of the next generation of researchers in AI, Mark Robins who in turn will keep the UK at the forefront of the AI revolution for many years to come.”

Discussing the importance of funding to Oxford, Professor Armour also said: “JADE will provide the computational competitive edge for Oxford researchers to remain at the forefront of research in AI/ML.

“In doing so, Oxford researchers will be able to attract the brightest students, who will in turn become the next world leaders.”

JADE 2 will also support the development of computing skills in scientific research and provide career opportunities for research software engineers in the UK.

EPSRC Executive Chair Professor Dame Lynn Gladden said: “Computation is becoming an evermore important scientific tool.

“The High Performance Computing Services announced today will give research-ers access to the tools they need to make breakthroughs in a wide range of fields that impact on how we live our lives.”

Though the project is led by Oxford, 19 universities are supporting JADE 2, including Cambridge, Imperial College London, University College London, and Warwick University.

EPSRC is part of UK Research and Innovation, the national funding agency investing in science and research with a budget of more than £6 billion.

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