May 12, 2020 — With the rise of the Covid-19 pandemic, the importance of accelerating scientific research and discovery is at the center of current developments. As the European community strives to contribute to the battle against this novel virus, European supercomputing resources are used in research to optimize diagnosis, treatment, and vaccines.
To help with these efforts, PRACE set up a Flash Track Call for Proposals for European researchers from both academia and industry fighting against Covid-19. In particular, PRACE is welcoming project proposals from researchers from the academia, research institutions, and commercial organizations based in Europe that are in need of computing resources to contribute to the mitigation of the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Among the systems whose resources are used for this PRACE Call, there are two procured through the PPI4HPC project: Joliot Curie AMD partition for GENCI/CEA and Marconi-100 for CINECA. These systems have been allocated to serve the workloads required to advance research during these crucial times.
In its communication on the “European Cloud Initiative” the European Commission in April 2016 stressed the need for building an European Data Infrastructure including high-end supercomputers, which will around 2022 reach the exascale performance level. In this proposal, a group of leading European supercomputing centres decided the formation of a buyers group to execute a joint Public Procurement of Innovative Solutions (PPI) for the first time in the area of high-performance computing (HPC). The co-funding by the European Commission (EC) will allow for a significant enhancement of the planned pre-exascale HPC infrastructure from 2019 and pave the path for future joint investments in Europe. The total investment is planned to be about € 73 million. The involved HPC centres, namely BSC, CEA/GENCI, CINECA and JUELICH, have a strong track record in providing supercomputing resources at European level. The project participants are founding members of PRACE and have made Tier-0 systems available through PRACE.