Case study – The STFC Hartree Centre and IBM
At the heart of Liverpool City Region’s leadership in big data and cognitive technologies is the Science and Technology Facilities Council’s (STFC) Hartree Centre, part of Sci-Tech Daresbury, where these cutting-edge techniques are providing competitive advantage to UK industry and solving real world problems.
It is part of a growing cluster of international, national and local companies at Sci-Tech Daresbury focused on data-centric computing, big data analytics and cognitive technologies.
In 2015, a £315.5 million partnership with information technology leader IBM was announced to boost big data research in the UK. Through this strategic partnership with IBM, the Hartree Centre is enabling access to the latest data-centric and cognitive computing technologies from IBM, including its world-class‘Watson’ platform.
Over the next two years more than two dozen IBM researchers will be based at the Hartree Centre working alongside existing researchers.
Delivered through the cloud, IBM’s Watson analyses high volumes of data, understands complex questions posed in natural language, and proposes evidence-based answers. It continuously learns, gaining in value and knowledge over time, from previous interactions.
David Stokes, Chief Executive for IBM in the UK and Ireland, said: “We’re at the dawn of a new era of cognitive computing, during which advanced data-centric computing models and open innovation approaches will allow technology to greatly augment decision-making capabilities for business and government. The expansion of our collaboration with STFC builds upon Hartree’s successful engagement with industry and its record in commercialising technological developments, and provides a world-class environment using Watson and OpenPOWER technologies to extend the boundaries of big data and cognitive computing.”
One of the first projects using Watson that Hartree is leading is a collaboration with one of Europe’s biggest and busiest children’s hospitals, Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, to improve the patient experience by creating the UK’s first cognitive hospital.