Computational Immediate Response Center for Emergencies
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This study will assess potential applications of high-performance computing (HPC) in crisis situations, and what organizational procedures are needed to ensure that HPC resources are immediately available.

Since April 2020 HLRS has been supporting the Federal Institute for Population Research (BiB) in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. This has included providing both computational resources and expertise for simulations of intensive care unit (ICU) occupancy by COVID-19 patients. Since November 2020 until February 2023, the BiB's simulations have run daily on the HLRS's high-performance computing (HPC) infrastructure. These are, in turn, forwarded weekly to the responsible ministries and play an important role in tracking and forecasting the burden of the pandemic on Germany's health care infrastructure.

The course of the worldwide coronavirus pandemic and HLRS's experiences with the BiB have made clear that simulations are becoming increasingly important within national offices and authorities. Simulation is particularly useful for understanding and predicting new developments, and for the decision-making necessary to establish concrete policies. When crises arise suddenly, however, resources such as the supercomputers operated at HLRS are not always immediately available or ready to use, and ad-hoc solutions must therefore be found.

This project is evaluating how and in which contexts computing resources and competencies of a high-performance computing center like HLRS are sensible, necessary, or possible for pandemic control and analysis. It will also clarify what organizational, technical, and scientific steps would be needed to create a Computational Immediate Response Centre for Emergencies (CIRCE), which could become a resource for national authorities not only during emergencies but also in the context of regular operations; for example, in the monitoring of critical ongoing events. In coordination with key stakeholders, scientists at HLRS will define the characteristics of a response center that could quickly provide computing resources and expertise to federal and state authorities, among others, in crisis situations of many kinds.


01. November 2021 -
31. October 2024


BMBF & MWK Baden-Württemberg


BMBF Logo: Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung
MWK Logo: Baden-Württemberg Ministerium für Wissenschaft, Forschung und Kunst