Thursday, July 3, 2008

Ateneo de Manila University and the Europe-Asia Grid Computing Infrastructure (EUAsiaGrid) Project

Photo Caption: (L-R) Ms. Ines Loge (Cultural Attache, Embassy of France to the Philippines), Dr. Fabian Dayrit (Dean, School of Science), Dr. Rafael Saldaña (Associate Professor, Mathematics Department), and Dr. Bernard Mely (Director, CNRS Southeast-Asia Burea) are shown with Ateneo's MedGrid Cluster in the background. Photo taken on April 23, 2008.

The School of Science and Engineering of Ateneo de Manila University is now part of a European Commission funded project on grid computing. Called “EUAsiaGrid - Towards a Common e-Science Infrastructure for the European and Asian Grids,” the project is an international research collaboration involving 15 institutions from Europe, Asia and Australia.

The EUAsiaGrid project contributes to the aims of the EU Research Infrastructure FP7 Program by promoting international interoperation between similar infrastructures with the aim of reinforcing the global relevance and impact of European e-Infrastructure.

The project's main goal is to pave the way towards an Asian e-Science Grid Infrastructure, in synergy with the other European Grid initiatives in Asia, namely EGEE-III via its Asia Federation, and both the EUChinaGRID and EU-IndiaGRID projects and their eventual follow on efforts.

Taking advantage of the existing global Grid technologies, with the specific emphasis on the European experience with the gLite middleware and applications running on top of it, the project plans to to encourage federating approaches across scientific disciplines and communities.

EUAsiaGrid will act as a support action, aiming to define and implement a policy to promote the gLite middleware developed within the EU EGEE project across Asian countries. Its main actions will be to spread dissemination, provide training, support scientific applications and monitor the results.

Aside from Ateneo de Manila University, the project consortium includes the following institutions:

1. Instituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare (Italy)
2. CESNET, z.s.p.p. (Czhech Republic)
3. University of Manchester (United Kingdom)
4. HEALTHGRID (France)
5. The Australian National University (Australia)
6. Academica Sinica (Taiwan)
7. Advanced Science and Technology Institute (Philippines)
8. Hydro and Agro Informatics Institute (Thailand)
9. Infocomm Development Authority (Singapore)
10. Ho Chi Minh City Institute of Information Technology (Vietnam)
11. Institute of Technology of Bandung (Indonesia)
12. National Electronics and Computer Technology Center (Thailand)
13. Universiti Putra Malaysia (Malaysia)
14. MIMOS Berhard (Malaysia)

The over-all project leader for EUASiaGrid is Dr. Marco Paganoni of the Instituto Nazional di Fisica Nucleare, Milan, Italy while the project leader for Ateneo de Manila University is Dr. Rafael Saldaña, Associate professor in the Mathematics Department.

Dr. Saldaña together with Mr. Allan Espinosa, faculty (on-leave) of the Electronics, Communications and Computer Engineering (ECCE) Department attended the EUAsiaGrid Project Launch and the International Symposium on Grid Computing on September 7 - 11, 2008 in Academia Sinica, Taipei, Taiwan.

Ateneo's Role in the Project

Ateneo de Manila University (AdMU) will be involved and contribute in WP3 (Support of Scientific Applications) and WP5 (Training). The Ateneo de Manila University partners will be involved in the subtasks: (1) Computational Chemistry/Bioinformatics and (2) Mitigation of Natural Disasters.

The Philippines is rich in natural products. There are active researchers in AdMU who are conducting molecular dynamics (MD) simulation of natural products such as carrageenan and indigenous plants with potential medicinal uses. AdMU's researchers intend to use grid computing technology to enhance the studies (MD simulations and bioinformatics aspects) of natural products.

The Philippines is also abundant in natural disasters: earthquakes, floods, volcano eruptions, landslides, etc. There are researchers in AdMU engaged in landslide modeling and simulation, climate change studies, and mitigation of natural disasters such as landslides, lahar flow, and volcano eruptions. Using grid computing technology our researchers intend to establish international collaborations towards building data grids on natural disaster mitigation and to utilize grid computing technology for modeling and simulation of natural disasters.

The Grid and High-Performance Computing Group of AdMU led by Dr. Rafael Saldaña has conducted training programs in the past in the area of high performance computing and computational science. AdMU will be involved in the Training subtask (WP5) and is aiming to conduct a national workshop on the benefits of and best practices in the usage of Grid Computing Technology, particularly in the fields of biomedical computing/bioinformatics/computational chemistry and mitigation of natural disasters, as part of the promotion of the proposed EU-Asia Grid infrastructure.

In addition to the EUAsiaGrid project, the School of Science and Engineering is also involved in ONCO-MEDIA (an international project funded by the ICT Asia Regional Program of the French government) and the Philippine e-Science Grid project of the Department of Science and Technology Advanced Science and Technology Institute (DOST-ASTI).

For more information about the EUAsiaGrid project visit the website or contact Dr. Saldaña at

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