To fully utilize science and technology in epidemic prevention, and respond to the major challenges this new wave has brought about for Taiwan’s public health, civilian livelihood, economy and education, Minister of Science and Technology Wu Tsung-Tsong announced the state-built supercomputer Taiwania 3 would officially begin supporting prevention efforts on June 8, and the initiation of the “Anti-Pandemic Technology 2.0” project by NARLabs’ the National Center for High-performance Computing (NCHC). The project will include in its ranks the upgraded Taiwania supercomputer series, Taiwan Computing Cloud (TWCC), Data Analysis Service (DAS) and IoT platforms. It will also invite academics, researchers, innovators, and industry to once again answer the call to serve the nation. Last year, NCHC launched the "Protecting Taiwan – Anti-Pandemic Technology" project, which opened up proposal submissions from all professional fields to apply for cloud resources to fight the pandemic. Many startups joined the project and produced outstanding results. For example, Heroic Faith Medical Science Co., Ltd has developed the world's first "Personal Handheld Anti-Pandemic Stethoscope", which can reduce the risk of infection in front-line medical care. Presently, more than 100 medical institutions of all levels have put forward their needs, and have also submitted emergency medical permits for review. Likewise, smart and strategic uses of AI data analysis tools produced the world's first "Analysis of COVID-19’s Genetic Evolution", which estimates the spread of the virus and assists public health agencies in various countries to cope with the pandemic’s rapidly changing circumstances.
Taiwania 3 is the latest HPC high-speed computing research and development platform built by NARLabs’ NCHC. With a computing performance of 2.7 petaflops, it provides a high-performance, parallel and distributed CPU computing environment, and its stand-alone speed is 20% faster than Taiwania 1 and its total computing power is twice as large. Taiwania 3 can support domestic large-scale applied R&D services, from biomedical sciences, climate change, and environmental sciences, to emerging energy projects, the platform surpasses existing standards and accelerates the output of results. Aside from the early activation of several of Taiwania 3’s services, the anti-pandemic project has also increased the privately-owned Taiwan Web Service Corporation’s high-speed computing power, and the more professional and comprehensive services provided have allowed for more effective actions against the pandemic.
With the "Anti-Pandemic Technology 2.0" project fully supported by new and enhanced resources, calls for new proposal applications from academia, innovators and industry will continue until July 31. The subject of submissions is not limited but the following topics are very much welcome: medical-related applications , pandemic control, policy communication, stability of civilian livelihood, derivative applications, and others. In addition to issues related to pandemic prevention, such as genetic evolution of viruses, protein analysis, data exploration, image recognition, etc., it may also include aspects such as solving citizens’ inconveniences, helping enterprises or schools to operate stably, bailout and revitalization of the economy, and more. After approval, applicants may use national-level cloud computing-related resources for free. Individuals from all walks of life are welcome and encouraged to put forward solutions to help resolve current dilemmas, or to research and develop innovative anti-pandemic technologies.
Last year, NCHC Director General Shepherd Shi indicated that experts from a variety of disciplines actively contributed their professions to fight the pandemic, and scientists and engineers became a part of Taiwan’s fight against the virus. With this year’s "Anti-Pandemic Technology 2.0", NCHC will not only upgrade its pandemic-combatting capabilities – including Taiwania 3 and the one-stop data analysis tool DAS – it will also increase the participation of the service industry’s Taiwan Web Service Corporation. Coupled with previous efforts and contributions from government entities and the research community, this integration of capabilities will hopefully further serve for the improvement of society at large.