8 March 2021

Data handling at Big Science Morning: Great business opportunities ahead

Our Big Science Morning on 4 March gave a glimpse into the future regarding data handling and the datacentre industry. Swedish suppliers were given an overview of forthcoming procurements from the research facilities ESS, European Spallation Source, in Lund, and ITER, the large fusion energy project under construction in France.

Research facilities all over the world are already handling enormous quantities of data, with these quantities increasing almost at the speed of light. This is data that will be used in forthcoming specialist research and scientific discoveries.

Security and sustainability

The research institute RISE and the Swedish research infrastructure for data communication, SUNET, also participated in this Big Science Morning. They raised the importance of security and sustainability to ensure that these quantities of data can be used efficiently, and shared and transferred around the world.

As an example of data quantities, ESS estimates that the facility will have 40,000 users per year and handle tens of PB of data per year when the facility is in full operation.

Looking ahead, there will be a great need for procurements regarding services within data handling, such as VR, AI, data cluster, cooling, power consumption, location, net infrastructure, and data transport.

All participants emphasised that handling data involves a lot of challenges, and that many different collaborations will be needed to build up expertise and develop new solutions:

SUNET – secure connectivity with an accessibile and robust infrastructure
RISE – define uncertainties regarding development of new processing technologies, data processing growth, and sustainability
ESS – data accessibility for science and complex data services, software development
ITER – data security, replicating data, refining, optimising, and distributing data to member states

Big Science Mornings for information and making contacts

For Swedish suppliers, it is important to acquire information at an early stage and make contacts, to ensure that they are well prepared when the procurements get under way.

This Big Science Morning gathered around 40 participants from industry, institutes, and research facilities. Not only did the representatives of industry hear valuable information, the event also enabled the research facilities to make contacts with each other for further discussions.


Big Science Sweden: Introduction – Anna Hall, Director; Moderator – Frida Tibblin Citron, Business Developer.
RISE: Tor Björn Minde, CEO at RISE ICE Datacenter
SUNET: Maria Häll, CEO at SUNET
ESS: Jonathan Taylor, Head of Data Management and Software Centre Section
ITER: Peter Koul, Computing Centre Officer at the IT System and Operation Section