World Community Grid

Meliá Hotels International has announced that it has recently become a partner of the ‘World Community Grid’, an initiative sponsored by IBM. The aim of this initiative is to create the world’s largest computing grid to take advantage of the unused capacity of computers connected to the Internet and make it available for medical and social research projects, as well as other issues related to natural disasters or environmental problems. During this initial phase the hotel chain will be tying in its participation with a series of projects addressing childhood or environmental issues.     

More than 2.3 million devices – including smartphones and tablets – belonging to over 600,000 individuals and organisations in 80 countries are now channelling their energies into ‘World Community Grid’ projects. The result of this integration is one of the world’s fastest virtual supercomputers. Since it was set up back in 2004, this initiative, created and run by IBM, has provided scientists with the equivalent of more than 800,000 years of computing activity at absolutely no cost to them. 

Meliá Hotels International has now signed up to the ‘World Community Grid’ and during its initial phase it will be contributing the potential capacity of 370 computers located in the company’s headquarters in Palma de Mallorca and Madrid. A second phase will see the inclusion of the computers located in the hotels at national and international level. The capacities generated by this hardware will be used for two projects selected in accordance with Meliá Hotels International priorities:

  • The Computing for Clean Water environmental project, which aims to provide a deeper insight into the molecular scale in the origins of efficient water flow in order to guide the future development of more economical and efficient water filters.
  • The Help Fight Childhood Cancer social project, whose mission is to find drugs that can disable three specific proteins associated with neuroblastoma, one of the most frequently-occurring solid tumours in children. Identifying these drugs could make the disease far more curable when combined with chemotherapy.

 The ‘World Community Grid’ runs on a free software program installed by IBM on the computers which is activated at those times when the user’s computer is on but is not being used to its maximum processing capacity. Under no circumstances does it affect the hardware’s operating capacity or data confidentiality. What it does is to make your device’s unused capacity available for research purposes for a specific project. 

 Research into new drugs, clean water, more efficient energies and healthy food are just a few of the areas addressed by the 23 projects that have already benefitted from the ‘World Community Grid’.