Based in Liverpool, United Kingdom, Liverpool Community Grid (LCG) is a local grid computing project that started in 2016. which donate’s spare computing power to help scientists solve the world’s biggest problems in health and sustainability.
Scientists need help
They’re searching the microscopic world for answers to our biggest problems, but it’s hard to know where to start. That’s why many use computer simulations to point them in the right direction, just as explorers rely on maps to find their way.
Because of the likes of Liverpool Community Grid, scientists get results in months instead of decades, identifying the most important areas to study in the lab, bringing them one step closer to discoveries that save lives and address global problems.
When we went live in February 2016, we began working on Cancer, Zika, TB, AIDS, Ebola and in April 2017, started on Renewable Energy. In February 2020, we’ve re-focused our fleet to now focus solely on the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
Finding answers is tough, and without more computers, doing scientific research can be a bit like exploring with an incomplete map.
How it works
Local citizens and businesses donate old and unwanted computers into our project (which would otherwise end up being thrown away), which are then put to work, helping to support cutting-edge research into important global humanitarian causes.
Volunteers from around the city help to keep the fleet working 24/7, repairing and maintaining the computers to gain as much value from the remainder of its usable life.
The day-to-day running costs are supported by various sponsors, some give time or IT hardware, others give up space and power to host an entire node, either way, our aim is for a city-wide collective effort and to build what could possibly become one of the biggest Community Grid Projects in the world.
Locations and Nodes
As we are a voluntary project, supported by sponsors and volunteers, we look for locations to install the donated computers, normally spare space in peoples offices, basements or even lofts!. Each location we call nodes and ask that the host provide free electricity to power the computers (which are left on 247/) and internet, we do the rest.
This is our first node, kindly provided to us by Novoda (mobile product engineering) in their Baltic Creative Liverpool office who donate the power & space for this node. Interestingly the heat generated by the computers (located in a cupboard under the stairs) is piped into their office helping to keep their office warm and keep heating costs low!
This has been donated to us by Baltic Creative, located within the new DC1 data centre of IX Liverpool, Baltic Creative provide the power and space for the project for free, while servers and routers that power IX Liverpool donate their space processing time during times of low usage. To our knowledge, this is the first Internet Exchange in the world that is donating its spare computing power to Scientific Research!. Just like the above, our plan is to vent the heat from this node/the exchange into the Baltic Creative Campus, giving them free heat, helping the Environment.
This is donated by MICT in the Liverpool Baltic Triangle.
With your old computer, we can help change the world!
The Liverpool Community Grid is a simple way to support cutting-edge research into important global humanitarian causes. Any old computer you donate to us could be powering scientific research on health, poverty and sustainability.
If you can help by donating computers, or if you have technical skills and could donate your time, please phone/text (+44)07971 403 502.