On 4 April 2014 the High Performance Computing (HPC) cluster at Wageningen UR was opened in Impulse. More than 50 researchers, IT-professionals, and representatives from companies, government and Wageningen UR came together for this festive moment. The HPC is an initiative of animal breeding companies and research groups working on breeding and animal genetics within Wageningen UR, united in the Breed4Food consortium. CAT-AgroFood has invested in this HPC and gives research organisations the opportunity to make use of its computing power.
After a welcome and introduction by Ernst van den Ende (chairman of the steering board of CAT-AgroFood and general director of the Plant Sciences Group of Wageningen UR), Martin Kropff (Rector Magnificus of Wageningen University and interim chairman of the Executive Board of Wageningen UR) presented the importance of high performance computing for the research activities of Wageningen UR. This presentation was followed by a speech of Annemieke Traag (Provincial Executive member of the Province of Gelderland) about the value of this initiative for the Province of Gelderland. After this Annemieke Traag was invited to perform the official opening ceremony. By pushing a red button and the subsequent start movie about the HPC, she officially opened the HPC cluster.
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In the second part of the programme more practical possibilities of high performance computing were presented. Bernard de Geus (managing director of Breed4Food) gave the public more insight in the development of more data and the need to analyse the data. Subsequently Dick de Ridder (professor of Bioinformatics at Wageningen UR) showed how people make use of big data in ordinary life and how it can be used by researchers for analysis and modelling. In the final presentation Henk van Dongen (ICT manager TOPIGS Research Center IPG) presented why TOPIGS makes use of the HPC for obtaining genetic information of animals and what their experiences are so far. TOPIGS is one of the consortium partners in Breed4Food. With a toast to a successful future of the HPC the formal part of the programme was closed.