For rent: £1.45m supercomputer, £185 an hour (excl VAT)

Companies could dramatically cut the time taken to bring new products and services to market thanks to Edinburgh University making its supercomputer available for rent.

Cirrus, housed in the Edinburgh Parallel Computing Centre (EPCC), is a supercomputer comprising more than 5,000 processor cores; the equivalent of thousands of desktop computers.

Clients will be able to use the £1.45m machine to tackle their research and design challenges.

Its applications could include helping to create efficient engineering devices, solving complex genetic calculations, or optimising the design of buildings.

The high performance computing (HPC) facility could also help businesses from a range of science and engineering sectors cut the cost of product and service development.

It facilitates calculations that would be impossible, or much slower, when carried out on conventional desktop computing systems, delivering results in hours to days instead of weeks or months.

George Graham, EPCC’s commercial manager, said: “This newly installed computing power, in tandem with in-house expertise, means we are well placed to help businesses meet many of the computational challenges associated with developing new products and services.”

The system was jointly purchased with Edinburgh Genomics, the university’s world-leading genomics and bioinformatics facility.

The service costs £185 an hour, not including VAT; to celebrate the launch of Cirrus, EPCC is offering free time and support to the first 20 companies that apply to use the system.