Alibaba Cloud, Khalifa University collaborate

The cloud computing arm of Alibaba Group and Khalifa University, the leading research university in the UAE, have announced that they are extending their partnership to identify joint opportunities in big data, internet of things, robotics and cloud computing.

By employing the cloud computing capabilities of Alibaba Cloud, Khalifa University’s Masdar Institute of Science and Technology developed quantum mechanical simulation techniques that can be used to understand and predict the movement of liquids across the surface of solid crystalline structures, and when this capability is applied to the UAE’s geological petroleum reservoirs, the knowledge gained can be leveraged to enhance oil production.

Alibaba Cloud contributed high-performance cloud computing power to the research effort. The research team adopted Alibaba Cloud’s heterogeneous computing technology and built the simulation model on Alibaba Cloud’s Elastic Graphic Processing Unit (GPU) service (each GPU instance having thousands of stream processors) to expand its computing capability, reduce simulation time and increase prediction accuracy.

“By leveraging the computing capabilities of Alibaba Cloud, our research efforts to advance the UAE’s goal of maximizing the value of its natural resources effectively and cost-efficiently are greatly enhanced. This is a perfect example of how cloud technology supports scientific research and brings social benefits,” said Dr. Steve Griffiths, interim Executive Vice President for Research at Khalifa University of Science and Technology. “We are excited to now extend the collaboration with Alibaba Cloud in new research and development directions that are directly aligned with the UAE’s science and innovation goals.”

The renewed partnership was announced as Alibaba Cloud celebrates its one year anniversary since setting up its own data centre in Dubai.

Simon Hu, Senior Vice President of Alibaba Group and President of Alibaba Cloud, said, “Alibaba Cloud set up its Dubai data centre in November 2016, which is the first full-fledged public cloud in the region. This provides powerful, scalable, and cost-effective cloud computing services to regional public and enterprise customers. With growing service capability over the past year, we are proud to have become a major driver of the local digital economy and innovation. As it continues to evolve, we believe that inclusive cloud technology will play an important role across all of the region’s industry sectors.”