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Cray announced as supplier for Met Office supercomputer

The next generation supercomputer which will take UK weather and climate services into the future will be supplied by Seattle based specialists, Cray.

Weighing more than 140 tonnes and capable of more than 16,000 trillion calculations a second, the new CrayXC40 system will be one of the world's fastest high performance computers (HPCs).

The advanced capabilities it will offer will deliver an estimated £2 bn of socio-economic benefits for the UK through enhanced resilience to severe weather and related hazards.

"We are truly honoured that one of the most prestigious weather centres in the world has awarded us with the largest international contract in Cray's history," said Peter Ungaro, president and CEO of Cray.

"The Met Office is both a pioneer and leader in weather and climate services, and we are excited that Cray supercomputers and storage solutions will assist them in achieving their important and complex mission of informing citizens and industry how the weather and climate will affect them now and in the future." 

Part of the supercomputer will be sited at the IT Halls at the Met Office HQ in Exeter and part is expected to be sited at a purpose-designed building at the nearby Exeter Science Park, subject to planning permission.

Choosing the Science Park as a location for the facility will open up different opportunities for the Met Office to collaborate with new, like minded businesses, science and research establishments and start-ups on innovative science projects.

It will also help establish the vision of a world-leading centre of predictive environmental science in the region, centred on the Science Park.

Gerry Shattock from Exeter Science Park said: "This is a tremendous opportunity for Exeter which has got real strength in complex data sets and climate change adaptation. We will seek to build an open innovation community on the Exeter Science Park for a range of organisations of different sizes and from anywhere in the world and we believe that this will fuel enterprise and, ultimately, create new business opportunities in the wider area."