The Government is to invest €4m in a new national supercomputer.

The money is part of a €13m package of Exchequer funding being given to the Irish Centre for High End Computing (ICHEC), the State's centre for high performance computing.

Run in collaboration with the main universities here, the ICHEC carries out heavy duty data analytics and computer processing for researchers and scientists whose own computers would not be able to carry out such work.

It also works with a number of public bodies, Met Éireann for example, for whom it processes weather forecasting and climate change models.

The centre is also increasingly contracting out its infrastructure and skills to private companies.

The ICHEC currently has two supercomputers, Stokes and Stoney, hosted in the National University of Ireland Galway and University College Dublin.

The UCD machine, which is the most powerful publicly accessible computer in the country, is nearing the end of its life.

As a result, Science Foundation Ireland is to support an investment by the ICHEC in a new €4m supercomputer.

A further €8m investment in ICHEC was also announced by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation and Department of Education and Skills under the Government's Action Plan for Jobs 2013, which will support the centre's next phase of development over the next three years.