CERN openlab is the unique public-private partnership between CERN and leading companies in the field of information and communication technology. The programme is now entering an exciting new phase and is expanding to include other public research organisations for the first time. A special event will be held at CERN to mark this occasion.
CERN openlab was created in 2001 and is now entering its fifth three-year phase (2015-2017). Its mission is to accelerate the development of cutting-edge solutions to be used by the scientific community to control the operations of complex machines and to analyse the vast amounts of data produced by physics experiments. During Run 2 of the LHC, it is expected that the CERN Data Centre will store more than 30 petabytes of data per year from the LHC experiments, which is equivalent to about 1.2 million Blu-ray discs, or 250 years of HD video. Testing in this demanding environment provides the companies collaborating in CERN openlab with valuable feedback on their products, while enabling CERN to assess the merits of new technologies in their early stages of development for possible future use.
Huawei, Intel, Oracle and Siemens are all partner companies for the new phase of CERN openlab. Brocade, Cisco, IDT, Rackspace and Seagate are contributors, while Yandex is an associate member. The European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI) and the GSI Helmholtz Centre for Heavy Ion Research are the first new public research organisations to join CERN openlab.
“CERN openlab plays a vital role in ensuring that members of CERN’s scientific community have access to the very latest ICT solutions to help them do their ground-breaking work and further our understanding of the universe,” says Alberto Di Meglio, Head of CERN openlab. “Our expansion to include other public research organisations makes this a very exciting time for us all. By pooling our knowledge and expertise, we aim to address the common challenges faced by large-scale research laboratories in the era of big data.” But CERN openlab also aids innovation by enabling the continuous exchange of information and expertise between research and industry. “Technologies targeted at the needs of CERN today are likely to become mainstream products for enterprise - or even consumer - markets just a few years down the line,” confirms Di Meglio.
On 10 June, CERN openlab is holding a first-of-its-kind ‘Open Day’ event. The event will take place at CERN and will be an opportunity to learn more about the work carried out through CERN openlab to help tackle the challenges faced by the scientific community. Members of the CERN community are invited to take part. Registration for the event closes on the evening of 8 June.