Mumbai– To facilitate knowledge-sharing and promote joint innovation, a high-speed data communications network is being launched on Thursday by IIT-Bombay and IBM to connect all institutions of higher learning and research in the country, officials here said.

At the core of this initiative will be the OpenPOWER Research Facility (OPRF).

It is being spearheaded by OpenPOWER Foundation of IBM, NVIDIA and Mellanox to establish the OPRF, which will provide India’s research and development community with technical assistance and infrastructure to boost indigenous research.

“With OPRF, scientists, students, developers and enterprises who are part of the National Knowledge Network initiative can tap into the latest and best available OpenPOWER-based infrastructure and other solutions,” said an IIT-B spokesperson.

It will start with doctoral scholars, MTech and engineering students who will tap into OPRF and develop new-age applications and solutions around eGovernance, healthcare, education, agriculture and high-performance computing, the spokesperson added.

“OPRF supports an open technology ecosystem for high-performance computing and its applications and give students, faculty and researchers opportunity to gain familiarity with its system features,” said P.S.V. Nataraj, Professor and Principal Investigator, IIT-B.

Its objectives and activities align well with the recently launched National Supercomputing Mission of the government of India, Nataraj added.

IBM’s Vice-President for India Systems Development Lab Monica Aggarwal said open collaboration is delivering the next wave of innovation across the entire system stack, allowing clients and organisations to develop customised solutions to capitalise on today’s emerging workloads.

“The OPRF will enable Indian companies, universities and government organisations to build technologies indigenously using the high-performance POWER processor, helping to drive the national IT agenda of India,” she added.

OPRF is a global, open development membership organisation formed to facilitate and inspire collaborative innovation where members share expertise, investment and server-class intellectual property to develop solutions for the evolving needs of technology customers.

Member innovations delivered and under development include custom systems for large-scale data centres, workload acceleration and platform optimisation for software appliances and advanced hardware technology exploitation.