Chinese Academy of Sciences launches cloud platform for researchers

State news outlet, China Daily reported that the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) launched an advanced scientific cloud platform last week to provide scientists with accessible, accurate and secure data services and drive research and innovation.

The China Science and Technology Cloud (CSTC), which was developed at the academy's Computer Network Information Center, draws data from the academy's research institutes and major scientific installations, as well as many of China's top universities and private innovation centers. There were over 120 institutions directly under CAS, as of 2012.

The platform is central to the academy's effort to improve its data-related services and applications. It also aims to promote data sharing and transparency.

The CSTC aims to become the go-to platform to satisfy most data and cloud service needs from scientists and innovators in China. It combines big data, cloud computing and artificial intelligence into a single, massive platform that will provide data and cloud computing services to researchers.

Applications on the cloud platform are divided into five broad categories: data resources, cloud computing with AI and supercomputers, research software support, research community networks and outreach to foreign scientists and platforms.

The platform already has more than 600,000 registered users and will continue to improve to satisfy ever-growing research needs.

According to the China Daily article, Liao Fangyu, director of the information center, said, "We have entered an age in which scientific discoveries often require crunching a large amount of data. This is only possible with powerful computing hardware and software. The CSTC will bolster China's innovation capabilities and help create more original and influential scientific achievements."

For instance, the cloud platform allows faster and more accurate climate simulations, due to its data and strong processing capabilities.

Using the platform, scientists can simulate climate change on a larger scale or across a greater period of time. It also allows researchers to add data from other related scientific fields, such as marine science, into the simulation to obtain a more accurate and comprehensive picture. Thus, the platform could play an important role in improving weather research and disaster predictions.  

Earlier this month, the State Council of the People’s Republic of China issued new regulations for improving the management, security, accuracy and openness of scientific data. The regulations aim to clarify the responsibilities of officials and scientists who regulate and use the information.

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