Big Data Solutions Inside, Future Urban Sustainability Outside


Application of big data analytics is showing exceptional results for enterprises by allowing them to uncover new insights to develop new services, increase competitiveness, and optimize their operational efficiency. Turning an eye outside of the enterprise though, there are number of mounting problems that exist today in large urban areas that will continue to grow as more than 2/3 of the world’s population will live in cities by mid-century. Could data analytics improve the quality of health-care through more targeted care, reduce traffic congestion and pollution in growing cities, and improve crop yields to feed a burgeoning global population?

Intel and the European-based Teratec consortium thinks so. To drive the successful adoption of these technologies, Intel and Teratec are collaborating to launch a big data lab that will spearhead research initiatives focused on personalized health-care, smart cities, and precision agriculture. The lab’s efforts will accelerate research initiatives, develop proof of concepts, and promote real-world trials that will eventually lead to full-scale deployments.

Ultimately, we all expect that these initiatives will lead to practical and repeatable big data solutions that can be leveraged around the world to improve the human condition, not just in Europe, but around the world. While the goals are lofty, the mission is clear and the alternatives for not pursuing could be dire.

The lab is located within the Teratec science and technology park which has brought together more than 80 technological and industrial companies, laboratories and research centers, universities, and engineering schools. Through Teratec, these organizations are combining their resources for simulation and high performance computing to address specific and very challenging problems for various industries.

The Teratec members understand that rapid population growth over the coming decades will stress the infrastructure of cities, further tax sources of sustainable food and water resources, and pose new barriers to high-quality health-care. But they aren’t stopping at the problems—they are focused on finding solutions.

Consortium members see opportunities to use big data analysis and high-performance computing (HPC) systems to unlock new insights that will help us all understand how to create more sustainable cities and resources, as well as improve health-care.

Those are noble goals, for sure, but the reality on the ground is something else. Efforts to solve these challenges are held back by a lack of access to computing resources and data science know-how. At Intel, we want to help address these issues—and advance the Teratec mission. For the new big data lab, we are contributing servers powered by Intel compute, networking, and storage architecture, data analytics software from Intel and other companies we collaborate with, and the expertise of our data scientists to help accelerate the consortium’s work.

At Intel, we feel gratified to be in a position to drive these efforts forward through the contribution of leading-edge hardware and software and the often times scarce skill-sets of some very sharp data scientists.

Please stay tuned for updates on the accomplishments of the Teratec consortium. And in the meantime, for a closer look at the power of big data and advanced analytics tools to solve human problems, visit our Center of Possibility site.