The University of Southampton

Interoperable grid software to tackle malaria

Published: 12 May 2008

Accelerating the development of drugs to treat malaria and avian flu is one potential benefit from new grid software which has just been released.

The software has been developed by OMII-Europe, a two-year European Union- funded project led by the School of Electronics and Computer Science (ECS).

OMII-Europe provides world-wide leadership on the integration of major grid computing platforms together with the implementation of emerging open standards to facilitate benefits for the wider community. Forthcoming versions of Europe’s main grid platforms such as UNICORE and gLite will incorporate software developed by OMII-Europe so that researchers can access grid computing resources with the flexibility of the Internet.

OMII-Europe was established in 2006 and the University of Southampton was appointed as the co-ordinating partner within a 16-partner project involving major European, American and Chinese institutes involved in grid middleware development.

OMII-Eur0pe was established to provide key software components for building e-Infrastructures within the European Research Area (ERA). The initial focus for OMII-Europe was to facilitate the development and porting of a common set of application level services to a number of major grid software distributions, and to develop tighter interoperability between those distributions.

These software components are also being adopted by a number of other European research initiatives such as WISDOM which is focused on developing drugs for malaria and other neglected and emerging diseases. Dr Alistair Dunlop, who was instrumental in forging this collaboration, commented: 'Up until now, scientists could only talk to their own networks. Our software makes it possible for them to talk across various networks and to take forward the state of the art in grid technology and increase the range of computational power available to e-scientists.'

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