Mandaluyong City, Philippines - 16 May 2013: The Department of Science and Technology (DOST), the University of the Philippines (UP) and IBM announced today, that the world-renowned IBM Blue Gene supercomputer has been chosen to support the Philippine government’s priority R&D projects focused on reducing poverty, improving government processes and tools and enabling smarter weather management, as based on the National Economic Development Authority’s Medium Term Development Plan. A priority initiative around weather prediction will be the pilot project to use the IBM Blue Gene supercomputer as its platform.
A milestone among government-private-academe endeavors, the supercomputer soon to arrive in the country will provide high performance computing capabilities to help develop practical solutions to address the country’s basic problems. The IBM Blue Gene supercomputer is set to be the platform for select R&D projects that are aligned with the country’s strategic growth initiative to advance poverty alleviation; transparency in the government; rapid, inclusive and sustained economic growth; peace and order and environment and climate change mitigation.
“This is a direct result from the agreement between the DOST and IBM in May 2012, to jointly build a Philippine Systems and Technology R&D Lab to help accelerate national economic growth,” said Mariels Almeda Winhoffer, President and Country General Manager, IBM Philippines. “It is IBM’s response to President Aquino’s call for help to support research and development projects to enable transformation and progress in the country. The IBM Blue Gene supercomputer is our concrete contribution to advance R&D initiatives in the country.”
A priority R&D project, the DOST and IBM will collaborate on how the supercomputer can complement DOST’s Nationwide Operational Assessment of Hazards or Project NOAH, the government’s flagship program and integrated information system for disaster mitigation and climate change. The IBM supercomputer will enable local scientists to process and gain insights from the massive data collected, to produce faster, more accurate forecasts and improve localized weather prediction for the country. Prone to natural disasters, the country will benefit greatly once this projected is completed, as citizens and various government agencies can better prepare and plan what to do and what emergency response programs to activate, if and when a weather-related disaster occurs.
“The IBM Blue Gene supercomputer will be most applicable to DOST’s major programs such as NOAH and Smart Agriculture, “said DOST Secretary Mario G. Montejo. “First we will work toward Blue Gene’s integration to Project NOAH to provide more advanced seven-day local weather forecasts. We can also use it to run various weather models and validate the accuracy of results almost real-time.”
“Smart Agriculture, the newest flagship program of the DOST, will also gain from our newest supercomputing capability in modeling climate change scenarios, building database for agricultural land use, and computing for monthly irrigation requirements per province,” Sec. Montejo added.
Other possible projects to be aided by the IBM Blue Gene supercomputer include flood management and genomics.
The announcement was one of the many highlights of the 2013 IBM Technology Conference and Expo, wherein IBM showcased new Smarter Computing solutions which forms the foundation of a smarter IT infrastructure that powers a Smarter Planet. Smarter Computing is an approach that leverages cloud technology to speed time to market and improve efficiency; that unlocks the power of data to deliver more actionable insight; and that secures critical information to reduce risk and enhance compliance to enable organizations to transform, innovate and grow their businesses.
Since establishing its presence in the Philippines in 1937, IBM has evolved to become the leading information technology partner in the country, providing hardware, software, and IT-enabled business services to domestic and global markets. IBM in the Philippines has grown exponentially in terms of business portfolio, talent growth and geographic reach.
For more information about IBM in the Philippines, please visit http://www.ibm.com/ph
The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) is the premiere science and technology body in the country charged with the twin mandate of providing central direction, leadership and coordination of all scientific and technological activities, and of formulating policies, programs and projects to support national development.
For more information about the DOST, please visit http://www.dost.gov.ph
About Project NOAH
Project NOAH is the Department of Science and Technology’s (DOST) response to the call of President Benigno S. Aquino III for a more accurate, integrated, and responsive disaster prevention and mitigation system throughout the Philippines. The program harnesses technologies and disaster management services offered by DOST agencies Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration, Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology, and the Advanced Science and Technology Institute. The program runs in partnership with the UP National Institute of Geological Sciences (NIGS) and the UP College of Engineering.
NOAH’s interactive website can be accessed at http://noah.dost.gov.ph