Supercomputing can bring Super Hero Status to NI Creative Industries

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The type of supercomputing power which was critical to the latest Disney animation blockbuster Big Hero 6, is now available to the local creative industries sector following a recent investment by Fujitsu, the leading Japanese IT systems, services and products company, in a high performance computing (HPC) service aimed at Nortern Ireland SMEs.


High Performance Computing, is credited with allowing artists within the Walt Disney Animation Studios to develop rich life-like animation environments for the futuristic movie set in the city of San Fransokyo, a blend of two of the most tech-centric cities in the world. The supercomputing process has been fundamental to its award winning status, which has already seen it nominated for best animated feature awards at the Golden Globes and BAFTA and a hot tip to pick up the Academy Award later in the year.  


Speaking about the enabling power of the new HPC Service to the NI creative industries sector Sam Moorman, Fujitsu said;


“The creative industries is one of our fastest growing sectors locally, contributing around £330 million a year to the local economy and employing over 21,000 people. We know there are ambitions that by 2020, Northern Ireland will be an internationally acclaimed hub of technological and creative excellence in digital media – developing and distributing new creative content via digital channels and platforms to a global audience. For that to happen, we need to ensure we are at the forefront of technology and infrastructure to allow our obvious creative talent to flourish.


“The latest Disney blockbusters, Frozen and now Big Hero 6 have shown the critical nature of high performance computing power to support animation rendering and the realization of rich and life-like detail which previously was impossible. Fujitsu is recognised as a world leader in high performance computing and we are excited to be bringing a supercomputing service to Northern Ireland for the first time, something which has the potential to add significant competitive advantage to a wide range of local businesses. Many local companies within the creative industries will now be able to access world-class, secure and easy-to-use high performance computing technology which is critical to achieving high end animation and computer rendering, but at high speed and at a fraction of the cost.


“We want to help more Northern Ireland businesses including those within the creative sector to compete on the world stage and are very excited about the HPC’s prospects to help more increase their competitive edge.We have already met with various bodies within the creative industries sector to explore how best we can collaborate and would encourage anyone who could potentially benefit from this enabling power to contact us to explore the possibilities.”