Geneva, 28 October 2005. Today marked the completion of a major conference organized by the Enabling Grids for E-sciencE project, which is coordinated by CERN1 and co-funded by the European Commission, where a number of key results were reported on the road to achieving a global Grid infrastructure for science. It was announced at the conference that the EGEE infrastructure, which spans over 150 sites in Europe, the Americas and Asia, had surpassed 2 million computing jobs, or the equivalent of over 1000 years of processing on a single PC.
The EGEE infrastructure, which is linked by Europe's GEANT high-speed communications network, as well as similar networks for scientific research around the world, spans across 40 countries. Only 18 months after the launch of the EGEE project, well over 1000 users around the globe are using the EGEE infrastructure to accelerate their computing tasks, which cover some six scientific domains and some 20 major applications, ranging from particle physics to drug discovery for combating malaria.
The fourth EGEE conference was held at the Palazzo dei Congressi, and hosted by the Italian National Institute for Nuclear Physics (INFN) in the centre of the historic city of Pisa. It featured speakers from the international scientific and IT community, local authorities and the European Commission. The theme of this event, "Global and Persistent e-Infrastructure for Scientific Knowledge in the 21st Century", was explored during the course of the week through plenary sessions as well as more focused parallel discussions, which gave participants the opportunity to discuss a wide range of issues related to Grid computing and multi-science research infrastructures.
"The results for EGEE so far are very satisfying, and well beyond our initial expectations," commented Fabrizio Gagliardi, the EGEE project director at CERN "clearly the Grid is a service that will allow many scientists to do calculations that were once hugely time consuming much faster". He gave the example of a group working on drug discovery for malaria that had managed to reduce computer simulations of 46 million potential drug candidates, the equivalent of 80 years on a single PC, to just a few months work on the Grid. During a visit to CERN today, to be briefed on the use of Grids by CERN, Viviane Reding, European Commissioner for Information Society and Media, said "On hearing about EGEE's achievements, I wanted to see for myself some of the practical benefits that this Grid technology is providing. I'm very satisfied to see such a major step forward in collaborative computing between scientists across Europe and even on a global scale. Europe's strategic investments in Grids and in the GEANT network infrastructure are certainly already paying dividends."
The EGEE project, funded by the EC initially for two years, aims to build on recent advances in grid technology and develop a service grid infrastructure which is available to scientists 24 hours-a-day. The project aims to provide researchers in both academia and industry with access to major computing resources, independent of their geographic location. The EGEE project identifies a wide-range of scientific disciplines and their applications and supports a number of them for deployment.
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1. CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, is the world's leading laboratory for particle physics. It has its headquarters in Geneva. At present, its Member States are Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. India, Israel, Japan, the Russian Federation, the United States of America, Turkey, the European Commission and UNESCO have Observer status.