Reality Emulator – Pre-Market Engagement
it is envisaged that over the coming months, the University will be procuring the following: high performance computing equipment; specialist professional services and expertise.
United Kingdom-Bristol: Super computer
Prior information notice
This notice is for prior information only
Section I: Contracting authority
I.1)Name and addresses
Postal address: 4th Floor, Augustine’s Courtyard, Orchard Lane
NUTS code: UKK11 Bristol, City of
Postal code: BS1 5DS
Country: United Kingdom
Telephone: +44 1179289000
I.4)Type of the contracting authority
Section II: Object
Reality Emulator — Pre-Market Engagement
II.1.2)Main CPV code
II.1.3)Type of contract
The University of Bristol is embarking on the development of a Reality Emulator (full details below).
In order to develop and build the reality emulator, it is envisaged that over the coming months, the University will be procuring the following:
• high performance computing equipment;
• specialist professional services and expertise;
• specialised audio visual equipment including (but not limited to), holographic imaging equipment and haptics.
This is not an exhaustive list and subject to pre-market engagement findings. The University will be sourcing from OJEU compliant frameworks where possible as well as competitive tendering.
In order to help inform and define the purchasing requirements, the University has contracted with Digital Catapult Services Ltd to engage the relevant technology markets and assist in the scoping of the tendering requirements.
II.1.6)Information about lots
II.2.2)Additional CPV code(s)
II.2.3)Place of performance
II.2.4)Description of the procurement:
The reality emulator will be a unique physical-virtual environment, which will allow the study of complex sociotechnical systems at different scales, in different contexts, and at different stages, (from early stage technologies through to embedded social systems) addressing fundamental research questions about technical development, social change commercial models, security, ethics, policy and legislation. This new facility will include:
1) State of the art connectivity infrastructure both internally and with the city/region established testbeds;
2) Ultra-high-performance, reconfigurable hardware platforms;
3) Diverse data platforms;
4) Advanced immersive reality facilities;
5) Sensor platforms.
The primary motivation is creating an open and accessible facility to enable experience-driven sociotechnical research i.e. to allow the creation of increasingly large and complex future scenarios, and to allow many such scenarios to be supported concurrently.
We propose the creation of an emulation platform: The reality emulator. emulation means that users can run their applications unmodified, and obtain actual, not simulated, empirical performance measurements. Virtualisation will be exploited to present multiple concurrent experimenters with their own customised view of the platform, allowing the platform to be shared.
The reality emulator will enable seamless interconnection of emulated and physical resources and infrastructures, with a broad range of existing data and information resources (including survey data, qualitative data, visual and audio data). It will also be able to emulate physical resources that are unavailable to physical environments, such as new devices, or hosts with very large numbers of network interfaces.
The platform will mainly target the study of large-scale heterogeneous environments, but the proposed equipment will also enable experimentation of mixed scales: from micro-scale on-chip networks, to Exa-scale HPC clusters, Data Centres, city-wide and national networks.
The composition of the emulation platform will include four main components:
1) The programmable network backplane: programmable optical and electronic switching equipped with optical transceivers to provide a flexible interconnection of experimental resources. The reality emulator will be directly accessible to a wide range of external physical infrastructures through Dark Fibre connectivity and layer 2 services;
2) The programmable hardware farm, encompassing programmable hardware platforms such as FGPAs, embedded digital signal processors, network/computing processors, and highspeed network interfaces, and a large number of HPC nodes;
3) Data platforms to facilitate access to real time data both from emulated and physical environments as well as historic and archived data;
4) An immersive experience environment supporting visualisation and sensory information, based data collected or synthesised.
Researchers will be able to access the Reality Emulator and connect their own external environments and data sets. Users will configure their own experience environment using an experimental control framework based on open source tools, which will be provided as part of the platform.
The facility will provide access to physical infrastructures (neighbourhoods, city/region, national) involving real users and rich internet of things (IoT) platforms. A user portal will be developed to ease the access and usability of the reality emulator platforms.
In order to help inform and define the purchasing requirements, the University has contracted with Digital Catapult Services Ltd to engage the relevant technology markets.
In issuing this PIN and seeking to engage with the market, the University makes no commitment to undertake these procurements. Non-participation by economic operators in the aforementioned market consultations will not be taken into account in any future procurement activities and will not preclude and/or prejudice any economic operator from tendering for the provision of these goods and services.
II.3)Estimated date of publication of contract notice:
Section IV: Procedure
IV.1.8)Information about the Government Procurement Agreement (GPA)
Section VI: Complementary information
In issuing this prior information notice and seeking to engage with the market, the University makes no commitment to undertake these procurements. Non-participation by economic operators in the aforementioned market consultations will not be taken into account in any future procurement activities and will not preclude and/or prejudice any economic operator from tendering for the provision of these goods and services.
VI.5)Date of dispatch of this notice: