Quasar leads the formation of the Center of Computational Excellence (COCE)
Quasar has partnered with the University of Houston, Texas Southern University, Cray, the Texas Medical Center and SemanticMD to form the Center of Computational Excellence. The partnership is seeking $1.5M from the Texas Emerging Technology Fund to support the project. The Center of Computational Excellence (COCE) will create a secure, cloud-based HPC infrastructure that can be accessed via Internet for analysis and visualization of “big data sets” by commercial end-users. Uniquely, COCE will also provide access to the technical support and personnel training essential for small and mid-sized companies (SMEs) to successfully develop and adopt HPC-enabled software solutions as part of their existing business models. By providing reliable and cost-effective access to a comprehensive HPC infrastructure on-demand, COCE will enable SMEs and start-ups, especially in the health-care and energy innovation sectors, to accelerate to market a range of innovative products and services enabled by cloud-based HPC computing resources.
The COCE combines and expands the HPC hardware/data storage resources of three existing Texas entities (UH, TSU and Quasar) to create a reliable and secure cloud-based HPC infrastructure where each location in the network serves as back-up sites for the other. Through their respective academic HPC centers, UH and TSU have significant expertise in developing specialized HPC software applications for various industry sectors, including the oil and gas, healthcare and pharmaceutical industries, and both are intimately involved in the training of the HPC professionals employed by these industries. UH’s internal innovation ecosystem will be responsible for protecting and exploring the commercial potential of any IP created within the COCE. The TMC, a COCE collaborator, has recently announced a “big data” initiative to provide HPC software solutions for clinical data mining and analysis to its member institutions. TMC has agreed to utilize the COCE cloud-based HPC infrastructure to deploy these services across the TMC, including at its new J-Labs and TMC technology accelerator facilities. Recently relocated to the TMC from MA, SemanticMD is a health IT start-up in the clinical imaging space and will serve as one of several test sites at the TMC for HPC.