by Gilbert Kalb
Launched with a kick-off meeting in Southampton on 25 January, the Bridge Grid Project is designed to encourage bilateral research and industrial development that will enhance and integrate Grid-enabled technology for industrial cooperation between Europe and China.
The Bridge project builds on major Grid efforts on both sides. The European part is based on the SIMDAT project (Data Grids for Process and Product Development using Numerical Simulation and Knowledge Discovery), which joins forces for product development and production process design using Grid services. CN Grid, a similar project with comparable objectives, was launched in China in 2002. While SIMDAT uses GRIA (GRID Resources for Industrial Applications), GN Grid is based on GOS (Grid Operation System). Both are independent developments.
The two systems have attracted wide support from industrial players using Grid technology and consequently large investments in their respective countries. Bridge intends to combine the two worlds through interoperability. IT Innovation from Southampton and Beihang University from Beijing will work on the underlying infrastructure. These partners played a significant role in the original development of the two systems.
Showcase applications for the new interoperable Grid platform were chosen from three different fields. They will show a general proof of concept and will simultaneously help to shape the infrastructure through their specific needs and requirements.
Aviation: EADS on the European side and AVIC II from China will use the infrastructure developed in Bridge for various simulations of improved designs, for example of aircraft wings. A work package concerned with this development is led by the company LMS (Belgium). LMS will adapt and improve the Grid middleware with the support of Fraunhofer SCAI.
Meteorology: The European Center for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (EDMWF) together with the Chinese National Meteorological Information Center (NMIC) will use Bridge infrastructure for faster and more precise predictions of weather-related phenomena and disasters. The Deutsche Wetterdienst (DWD) will support them in developing this application scenario.
Drug Discovery: InforSense (UK) and the Shanghai Institute for Medical Material (SIMM) will use Bridge-based workflows to improve their development of new drugs for fighting bird flu, dengue fever and malaria. Docking tools from both partners will run on the interoperable middleware provided with the Bridge infrastructure.
Each of these applications has a high demand for computing intensive services and a special need for cooperation between Europe and China.
Fraunhofer Gesellschaft is responsible for the overall management of the Bridge project, and is providing special tools to improve the performance of the aviation and pharmaceutical applications. The Bridge project is supported by the European Union, with 1.7 billion euro for 24 months.
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