FFplus Project Launches Open Calls for SMEs to Leverage HPC and AI Tech

July 9, 2024

July 9, 2024 — With over a decade-long history and a strong reputation in Europe, the Fortissimo projects (Fortissimo 1 and 2, FF4EuroHPC) were granted a budget of €42.8 million (~US$46.3 million) and successfully executed more than 130 experiments involving more than 300 partners. These efforts have resulted in 120 success stories from over 20 EU countries, where SMEs developed new products and services with the help of HPC and AI, thereby bolstering the EU economy.

Building on the methods and accomplishments of the Fortissimo project series, FFplus, with a total budget of €30 million, will continue to support and empower SMEs and Start-ups towards innovation.

Project Coordinator Dr.-Ing. Bastian Koller, Deputy Director of the High-Performance Computing Center Stuttgart, explained another ambitious goal of the new Fortissimo project: “FFplus aims to provide SMEs and Start-ups with the framework they need to be competitive, successful and create value in the digital economy. This makes FFplus an important link between the implementation of the European HPC and AI strategy and the SMEs and Start-ups that can benefit massively from it. With financial support, access to state-of-the-art EuroHPC resources and expert advice on both technical and business development, we are committed to a vibrant and innovative industrial landscape in Europe.”

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

Anders Jensen, Executive Director of the European High Performance Computing Joint Undertaking (EuroHPC JU) added: “FFplus is a strategic initiative funded by EuroHPC JU and designed to empower SMEs with cutting-edge HPC and AI technologies. By unlocking their innovation potential, FFplus propels SMEs to the forefront of technology, driving their success and accelerating Europe’s economic growth through impactful innovation.”

FFplus is a European initiative highlighting and promoting the adoption of High-Performance Computing (HPC) by SMEs and Start-ups across Europe. The scope of the targeted actions includes both the solution of business challenges through computational methods on HPC systems and the use of supercomputing resources for the development of (generative) Artificial Intelligence (AI) software solutions and services.

The computational methods encompass a large range of possibilities: modelling and simulation, data analytics, machine learning, and AI – all options empowering SMEs through enhanced innovation and competitiveness. The strategic objective of using supercomputers for generative AI is to facilitate and strengthen the technological development of European SMEs in that important area.

Dr Guy Lonsdale, CEO at scapos and Open Call Lead commented on the targets of the calls: “With the FFplus project, we are both continuing the evolution of the previous Fortissimo projects and introducing a new type of activity (hence the “plus” in the project name). The completely new aspect of FFplus is the generative AI technology development actions. The classical Fortissimo approach is to demonstrate the impact of using HPC to address business challenges, aiming to improve the efficiency of business processes from product design to operational procedures. Over the last decade, we have seen an evolution beyond numerical methods to include data analytics, machine learning, and AI. Our overarching goal is to reach out to the entire EU SME ecosystem to inspire them to leverage HPC for their own business challenges.”

SMEs and Start-ups now have the opportunity to shift their innovation potential through the two types of Open Calls:

  • Business experiments will address the uptake of HPC by SMEs in order to solve specific business challenges of SMEs that have had no prior use of, or experience with, HPC services.
  • Innovation studies will support European SMEs and Start-ups already active in the field of generative AI technology, which lack the necessary computational resources to scale up.

Open Call Information

Submission deadline: September 4, 2024 at 17:00 Brussels local time

Business Experiments

Expected duration of experiments: maximum 15 months with targeted commencement January 1, 2025.
The indicative total funding budget for all business experiments funded under this call is €4 million. The maximum funding request per proposal is €200,000 (covering all participants).

Further information can be found here.

Innovation Studies

Expected duration of innovation studies: maximum 10 months with targeted commencement December 1st, 2024. The indicative total funding budget for all innovation studies funded under this call is €4 million. The maximum total funding for each innovation study is €300,000 (covering all participants).

More information can be found here.

Source: FFplus Project

Subscribe to HPCwire's Weekly Update!

Be the most informed person in the room! Stay ahead of the tech trends with industry updates delivered to you every week!

Aurora AI-Driven Atmosphere Model is 5,000x Faster Than Traditional Systems

July 16, 2024

While the onset of human-driven climate change brings with it many horrors, the increase in the frequency and strength of storms poses an enormous threat to communities across the globe. As climate change is warming ocea Read more…

Researchers Say Memory Bandwidth and NVLink Speeds in Hopper Not So Simple

July 15, 2024

Researchers measured the real-world bandwidth of Nvidia's Grace Hopper superchip, with the chip-to-chip interconnect results falling well short of theoretical claims. A paper published on July 10 by researchers in the U. Read more…

Belt-Tightening in Store for Most Federal FY25 Science Budets

July 15, 2024

If it’s summer, it’s federal budgeting time, not to mention an election year as well. There’s an excellent summary of the curent state of FY25 efforts reported in AIP’s policy FYI: Science Policy News. Belt-tight Read more…

Peter Shor Wins IEEE 2025 Shannon Award

July 15, 2024

Peter Shor, the MIT mathematician whose ‘Shor’s algorithm’ sent shivers of fear through the encryption community and helped galvanize ongoing efforts to build quantum computers, has been named the 2025 winner of th Read more…

Weekly Wire Roundup: July 8-July 12, 2024

July 12, 2024

HPC news can get pretty sleepy in June and July, but this week saw a bump in activity midweek as Americans realized they still had work to do after the previous holiday weekend. The world outside the United States also s Read more…

Nvidia, Intel not Welcomed in New Apple AI and HPC Development Tools

July 12, 2024

New Mac developer tools will leverage Apple's homegrown chips, limiting HPC users' ability to use parallel programming frameworks from Intel or Nvidia. Apple's latest programming framework, Xcode 16, was introduced at Read more…

Aurora AI-Driven Atmosphere Model is 5,000x Faster Than Traditional Systems

July 16, 2024

While the onset of human-driven climate change brings with it many horrors, the increase in the frequency and strength of storms poses an enormous threat to com Read more…

Shutterstock 1886124835

Researchers Say Memory Bandwidth and NVLink Speeds in Hopper Not So Simple

July 15, 2024

Researchers measured the real-world bandwidth of Nvidia's Grace Hopper superchip, with the chip-to-chip interconnect results falling well short of theoretical c Read more…

Shutterstock 2203611339

NSF Issues Next Solicitation and More Detail on National Quantum Virtual Laboratory

July 10, 2024

After percolating for roughly a year, NSF has issued the next solicitation for the National Quantum Virtual Lab program — this one focused on design and imple Read more…

NCSA’s SEAS Team Keeps APACE of AlphaFold2

July 9, 2024

High-performance computing (HPC) can often be challenging for researchers to use because it requires expertise in working with large datasets, scaling the softw Read more…

Anders Jensen on Europe’s Plan for AI-optimized Supercomputers, Welcoming the UK, and More

July 8, 2024

The recent ISC24 conference in Hamburg showcased LUMI and other leadership-class supercomputers co-funded by the EuroHPC Joint Undertaking (JU), including three Read more…

Generative AI to Account for 1.5% of World’s Power Consumption by 2029

July 8, 2024

Generative AI will take on a larger chunk of the world's power consumption to keep up with the hefty hardware requirements to run applications. "AI chips repres Read more…

US Senators Propose $32 Billion in Annual AI Spending, but Critics Remain Unconvinced

July 5, 2024

Senate leader, Chuck Schumer, and three colleagues want the US government to spend at least $32 billion annually by 2026 for non-defense related AI systems.  T Read more…

Point and Click HPC: High-Performance Desktops

July 3, 2024

Recently, an interesting paper appeared on Arvix called Use Cases for High-Performance Research Desktops. To be clear, the term desktop in this context does not Read more…

Atos Outlines Plans to Get Acquired, and a Path Forward

May 21, 2024

Atos – via its subsidiary Eviden – is the second major supercomputer maker outside of HPE, while others have largely dropped out. The lack of integrators and Atos' financial turmoil have the HPC market worried. If Atos goes under, HPE will be the only major option for building large-scale systems. Read more…

Everyone Except Nvidia Forms Ultra Accelerator Link (UALink) Consortium

May 30, 2024

Consider the GPU. An island of SIMD greatness that makes light work of matrix math. Originally designed to rapidly paint dots on a computer monitor, it was then Read more…

Comparing NVIDIA A100 and NVIDIA L40S: Which GPU is Ideal for AI and Graphics-Intensive Workloads?

October 30, 2023

With long lead times for the NVIDIA H100 and A100 GPUs, many organizations are looking at the new NVIDIA L40S GPU, which it’s a new GPU optimized for AI and g Read more…


Nvidia Economics: Make $5-$7 for Every $1 Spent on GPUs

June 30, 2024

Nvidia is saying that companies could make $5 to $7 for every $1 invested in GPUs over a four-year period. Customers are investing billions in new Nvidia hardwa Read more…

Nvidia Shipped 3.76 Million Data-center GPUs in 2023, According to Study

June 10, 2024

Nvidia had an explosive 2023 in data-center GPU shipments, which totaled roughly 3.76 million units, according to a study conducted by semiconductor analyst fir Read more…

AMD Clears Up Messy GPU Roadmap, Upgrades Chips Annually

June 3, 2024

In the world of AI, there's a desperate search for an alternative to Nvidia's GPUs, and AMD is stepping up to the plate. AMD detailed its updated GPU roadmap, w Read more…

Some Reasons Why Aurora Didn’t Take First Place in the Top500 List

May 15, 2024

The makers of the Aurora supercomputer, which is housed at the Argonne National Laboratory, gave some reasons why the system didn't make the top spot on the Top Read more…

Intel’s Next-gen Falcon Shores Coming Out in Late 2025 

April 30, 2024

It's a long wait for customers hanging on for Intel's next-generation GPU, Falcon Shores, which will be released in late 2025.  "Then we have a rich, a very Read more…

Leading Solution Providers


Google Announces Sixth-generation AI Chip, a TPU Called Trillium

May 17, 2024

On Tuesday May 14th, Google announced its sixth-generation TPU (tensor processing unit) called Trillium.  The chip, essentially a TPU v6, is the company's l Read more…

Nvidia H100: Are 550,000 GPUs Enough for This Year?

August 17, 2023

The GPU Squeeze continues to place a premium on Nvidia H100 GPUs. In a recent Financial Times article, Nvidia reports that it expects to ship 550,000 of its lat Read more…

Nvidia’s New Blackwell GPU Can Train AI Models with Trillions of Parameters

March 18, 2024

Nvidia's latest and fastest GPU, codenamed Blackwell, is here and will underpin the company's AI plans this year. The chip offers performance improvements from Read more…

IonQ Plots Path to Commercial (Quantum) Advantage

July 2, 2024

IonQ, the trapped ion quantum computing specialist, delivered a progress report last week firming up 2024/25 product goals and reviewing its technology roadmap. Read more…

Choosing the Right GPU for LLM Inference and Training

December 11, 2023

Accelerating the training and inference processes of deep learning models is crucial for unleashing their true potential and NVIDIA GPUs have emerged as a game- Read more…

The NASA Black Hole Plunge

May 7, 2024

We have all thought about it. No one has done it, but now, thanks to HPC, we see what it looks like. Hold on to your feet because NASA has released videos of wh Read more…

Q&A with Nvidia’s Chief of DGX Systems on the DGX-GB200 Rack-scale System

March 27, 2024

Pictures of Nvidia's new flagship mega-server, the DGX GB200, on the GTC show floor got favorable reactions on social media for the sheer amount of computing po Read more…

MLPerf Inference 4.0 Results Showcase GenAI; Nvidia Still Dominates

March 28, 2024

There were no startling surprises in the latest MLPerf Inference benchmark (4.0) results released yesterday. Two new workloads — Llama 2 and Stable Diffusion Read more…

  • arrow
  • Click Here for More Headlines
  • arrow