Fostering Pan-European Collaborative Research: 3rd Edition of the ,HPC-Europa‘ Project Launched

01 June 2017

In early May researchers from all over Europe came together to kick off the third edition of the EC-funded activity “Transnational Access Programme for a Pan-European Network of HPC Research Infrastructures and Laboratories for scientific computing” project, abbreviated as HPC-Europa 3. The High-Performance Computing Center in Stuttgart (HLRS) appreciates this continuation of a well-established framework, especially as this project fits into the center’s strategy to support both junior researchers and small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

With the first initiative dating back to 2002, the HPC-Europa project has proved a successful European Union (EU) instrument for supporting pan-European collaboration on HPC-related topics. Similar to its predecessors, HPC-Europa 3 offers grants to young researchers for an international research exchange to one of the eight participating HPC centers. Young scientists from all EU states who are dealing with HPC applications, tools, benchmarks, or similar topics are entitled to apply for travel grants. HLRS, as one of the participating HPC centers, is planning to provide up to 150 young scientists with access to the systems to the tune of 4.2 million compute hours. Altogether, the participating centres are planning to host 1,220 junior researchers and provide 100 million compute hours.

HPC resources and services for SMEs and junior researchers

Furthermore, HPC-Europa 3 aims to foster cooperation in the research community and to facilitate access to HPC resources among small and medium enterprises (SMEs). For this purpose, HLRS will be the first of three HPC centers conducting a so-called “HPC awareness workshop”, followed by the supercomputing centers at the University of Edinburgh (EPCC) and Italian computing centre CINECA. Acting as a mentor, HLRS will invite representatives from SMEs to Stuttgart to share information on how HPC can be beneficial for their competitive positions. As a center with strong technical-engineering expertise, HLRS aims to build up long-term technology transfer actions with participating SMEs and thus enable them to effectively use HPC technologies and services. HLRS director Prof. Michael M. Resch emphasizes the importance of supporting both junior researchers and SMEs. “The scope of HPC has amplified many times over in the last decade, not only in terms of research, but also in terms of commercial exploitation,” Resch explains. “We now need to support junior researchers in order to forward academic achievements in Europe. As for SMEs, they represent the economic backbone, especially in Germany, and must be included to maintain their competitive positions.”

HPC-Europa 3 funded by European Commission with over 9 million Euro

In order to increase synergy and collaboration with these various interest groups, access to the participating European HPC centres and travel grants will be provided by the participating centres free of charge and via a single application, easing the administrative burden. The first call for visitors is planned for June 2017 and will be announced on the HPC-Europa 3 website. The Transnational Access Programme is funded with 9.2 million Euro by the EU within the scope of the H2020 Programme. The program is planned to run 48 months starting in May 2017.

— Lena Bühler