UKRI Net-Zero Digital Research Infrastructure (DRI) Scoping ProjectPosted on September 20, 2023 (Last modified on October 16, 2023) • 3 min read • 627 words
A wide ranging project examining digital infrastructure within the UKRI sector to ensure they will be sustainable within the next 17 years.
Our initial aim was to provide a clear roadmap to deliver carbon neutral digital research infrastructure (DRI) by 2040 or earlier. This covers the entire DRI estate for UK Research and Innovation. the core project team at CEDA was to lead an initial, 18-month UKRI-wide study to survey the digital carbon landscape, run a set of demonstrators and develop a roadmap to ensure that our data infrastructure can achieve net zero. Taking a systems-based approach, CEDA would work to develop adaptation strategies for the way data is conserved, analysed and managed.
Over the last 2 years, we have led a scoping project that has compiled recommendations for UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) to ensure all digital tools used in the sector - from supercomputers like JASMIN to staff laptops - will be sustainable within the next 17 years. The final technical report has now been published and is freely available for anyone to make use of
Continuous assessment and focus on the mission of achieving sustainability; active measures to counter the risk of enhanced demand negating efficiency gains.
Build and Share Knowledge
Providing leadership, support and advice for business cases and large procurements feeding into reporting; central hub for information and institutional knowledge.
Work must start now with commitment appropriate to the climate emergency while recognising that there will be a need for regular checks and adjustments; focus on progress not perfection; small steps; learn from experience.
Work with peers and suppliers
Through contracts, conditionalities, and understanding mutual benefits, to develop a low carbon supply chain (essential in the longer term).
Recognition of shared responsibility
mandate and empower all staff to take proportionate action to drive change and reduce the environmental impact of their work; community building; encourage discussion among colleagues and learn from others to foster positive changes in behaviour.
Green Software Engineering
Creating a body of expertise around green software engineering, providing training, developing tools, and standards to transform current approaches to writing code, and supporting codes running in data centres, such that GSE becomes the norm rather than an optional extra.
UKRI policy and governance
Creating a policy framework which can deliver the steps needed to achieve the net zero ambition.
Funders and facility leads or service providers work together to implement the fundamental changes required.
Developing the necessary capabilities and tools drawing on the creativity, diversity and strength in depth of the UK academic community.