NVIDIA opens Cambridge-1 supercomputer to UK healthcare startups

NVIDIA has announced a programme to open its Cambridge-1 supercomputer to UK healthcare startups.

NVIDIA Cambridge-1 supercomputer

Calling this week’s UK government AI Strategy launch** an important step forward,  David Hogan, vice president of Enterprise EMEA at NVIDIA, said, “Today is an important step in furthering the UK’s strategic advantage as a global leader in AI. NVIDIA is proud to support the UK’s AI ecosystem with Cambridge-1, the country’s most powerful supercomputer, and our Inception programme that includes more than 500 of the UK’s most dynamic AI startups.”

NVIDIA announced the next phase for Cambridge-1, in which UK-based startups will be able to submit applications to harness the system’s capabilities, during a talk at the Wired Health:Tech conference by Kimberly Powell, NVIDIA’s vice president of Healthcare.

“AI and digital biology are reshaping the drug discovery process, and startups are by definition on the bleeding edge of innovation,” she said. “Cambridge-1 is the modern instrument for science and we look forward to opening the possibilities for discovery even wider to the UK startup ecosystem.”

Powell will also describe work underway with UK biotech company and NVIDIA Inception member Peptone, which will have access to Cambridge-1. Peptone is developing a protein engineering system that blends generative AI models and computational molecular physics to discover therapies to fight inflammatory diseases like COPD, psoriasis and asthma.

“Access to the compute power of Cambridge-1 will be a game changer in our effort to fuse computation with laboratory experiments to change the way protein drugs are engineered,” said Dr Kamil Tamiola, Peptone CEO and founder. “We plan to use Cambridge-1 to vastly improve the design of antibodies to help treat numerous inflammatory diseases.”  

NVIDIA anticipates that giving UK startups the opportunity to use Cambridge-1 will accelerate their work, enabling them to bring innovative products and services to market faster, as well as ensure that the UK remains a compelling location in which to develop and scale up their businesses.

Startups that are selected for the new programme will not only gain access to Cambridge-1. They will also be invited to meet with the system’s founding partners to amplify collaboration potential, and access membership benefits of NVIDIA Inception, a global programme designed to nurture startups, which has more UK startups as members than from any other country in Europe. 

Founding partners of Cambridge-1 are: AstraZeneca, GSK, Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, King’s College London and Oxford Nanopore Technologies. 

NVIDIA Inception provides startups with critical go-to-market support, training and technology. Benefits include access to hands-on, cloud-based training through the NVIDIA Deep Learning Institute, preferred pricing on hardware, invitations to exclusive networking events, opportunities to engage with venture capital partners and more. Startups in NVIDIA Inception remain supported throughout their entire life cycle, helping them accelerate both platform development and time to market.  

Startup applications can be submitted here before December 30 at midnight GMT, with the announcement of those selected expected early in 2022. 

About Cambridge-1 

Launched in July 2021, Cambridge-1 is the U.K.’s most powerful supercomputer. It is the first NVIDIA supercomputer designed and built for external research access. NVIDIA will collaborate with researchers to make much of this work available to the greater scientific community. 

Featuring 80 DGX™ A100 systems integrating NVIDIA A100 GPUsBlueField®-2 DPUs and NVIDIA HDR InfiniBand networking, Cambridge-1 is an NVIDIA DGX SuperPOD that delivers more than 400 petaflops of AI performance and 8 petaflops of Linpack performance. The system is located at a facility operated by NVIDIA partner Kao Data.

Cambridge-1 is the first supercomputer NVIDIA has dedicated to advancing industry-specific research in the U.K. The company also intends to build an AI Center for Excellence in Cambridge featuring a new Arm-based supercomputer, which will support more industries across the country.

Cambridge-1 was launched with five founding partners: AstraZeneca, GSK, Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, King’s College London, and Oxford Nanopore.

**See also: New ten-year plan to make the UK a global AI superpower

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