Fortissimo Plus (FFplus) Will Foster Innovation in Industry with HPC and AI

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Initiated by the EuroHPC Joint Undertaking, the project will build on the transformative successes of the Fortissimo and FF4EuroHPC projects.

High-performance computing and artificial intelligence have emerged as game-changing technologies with the potential to boost industrial competitiveness and provide myriad economic and societal benefits. For many small and medium-sized enterprises, however, technical and financial factors can mean that making the most of these technologies remains a challenge.

On May 1, the EuroHPC Joint Undertaking (EuroHPC JU) launched a new Research and Innovation project aimed at addressing this need. Called Fortissimo Plus (FFplus), the project will empower SMEs and startups to take advantage of the opportunities that HPC offers. This also includes using large-scale HPC resources to develop generative artificial intelligence models such as foundation models and large language models. FFplus will help SMEs and startups in accessing state-of-the-art EuroHPC JU supercomputing resources, including pre-exascale and exascale supercomputers. It will also provide support in tackling technical challenges, fostering business development, and encouraging the creation of novel applications.

Coordinated by the High-Performance Computing Center of the University of Stuttgart (HLRS), FFplus will issue six open calls that invite European SMEs and startups to submit proposals for business experiments and innovation studies that demonstrate the benefits of HPC and generative AI. Successful applicants will receive startup funding and support from FFplus to conduct these experiments.

As FFplus continues, it will document productive applications of HPC and generative AI in success stories. These profiles will in turn be used to promote the uptake of these advanced technologies across Europe, showing how SMEs and startups can gain competitive advantages by integrating them into their business practices.

The next chapter in the Fortissimo story

FFplus builds on the methods and accomplishments of the Fortissimo projects, which have left an invaluable legacy in the European HPC and business landscapes. Beginning in 2013, the Fortissimo, Fortissimo 2, and FF4EuroHPC projects executed more than 130 experiments involving 330 partners, resulting in 120 success stories. These success stories have encouraged actors across the European industrial landscape to implement new digitalization technologies in manufacturing (Industry 4.0), and to develop new products and services that bolster the EU economy.

FFplus is managed and coordinated by a consortium of six partners who participated in earlier Fortissimo projects (HLRS/University of StuttgartScapos AGTeratecCINECACESGAArctur) and a new member (CYFRONET). The consortium includes partners from six European countries: Germany, France, Italy, Poland, Spain, and Slovenia. In this way, FFplus will strengthen activities and support networking across the European, national, and regional levels.

Funding and project details

FFplus was developed in response to the call DIGITAL-EUROHPC-JU-2023-SME-01, whose goal is to support the competitiveness and innovation potential of SMEs. 

The project is funded by the Digital Europe Programme (DEP), an EU funding program that is bringing digital technology to businesses, citizens, and public administration, with a total budget of up to EUR 30 million. 

FFplus started on May 1, 2024 and will run for a period of 48 months.

Learn more about the project on the FFplus website and follow FFplus on LinkedIn and X (Twitter) for more information on HPC-related topics.

More information regarding current and upcoming EuroHPC Research & Innovation calls can be found here.