PRACE Fast Track Support for COVID-19 Enabled Various Research Projects During 2020

March 4, 2021

March 4, 2021 — Since March 2020, PRACE allocated hundreds of millions of core hours of supercomputing resources for various projects to enhance European competitiveness and aiming towards ending the pandemic. One of the projects granted resources was a Finnish research team from the University of Jyväskylä.

The project, led by Professor Dr. Gerrit Groenhof, received computing resources for research on computational screening and improvement of viral protein inhibitors of COVID-19 for 15 000 000 core hours. The project’s core hours were made available from the supercomputer Joliot-Curie Rome hosted by GENCI at CEA (French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission).

As the project abstract described, the project aimed to assess new post-infection therapies to slow down the COVID-19 outbreak until a suitable vaccine was available. The project will make available the drug design workflows and protocols they developed for possible future outbreaks of other infections.

Models and other useful information will also be made available for other researchers to examine the results or use them in their work. More detailed information concerning the project is available on the PRACE website: COVID19: Computational screening and improvement of viral protein inhibitors.

The page shows a list of all granted projects for COVID-19 research.

PRACE looks back at supercomputing resources granted during the pandemic

Recently, PRACE released an article by Oliver Peckham, which collects highlights and results of research projects supported by PRACE computing resources over the pandemic. The program had started the COVID-19 Fast Track Call at the beginning of the pandemic, and the article now presents 14 of them. The research projects presented in the article relate to understanding the virus, finding out medicines for it, and analyzing its spreading.

Read the full article: PRACE Looks Back on a Year of COVID-19 Supercomputing.

Nevertheless, PRACE Fast Track Call for resources for COVID-19 research projects remains open until further notice. The proposals are evaluated within one week from submissions. More detailed information is available on the PRACE website: PRACE support to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

CSC’s strong role at PRACE

PRACE is a Partnership for Advanced Computing in Europe for the European high-performance computing (HPC) infrastructure. It hosts the leading-edge HPC systems in Europe called Tier-0 systems. The program aims to support the effectiveness of science and competitiveness of Europe by providing first-class data management and computing resources through a peer-review process.

The project has 26 members representing European Union Member States and Associated Countries. CSC has been involved in PRACE since the beginning of its establishment. CSC represents Finland in the PRACE projects, which maintains a seamless route to apply the Tier-0 resources for Finnish researchers. Several Finnish research projects have been granted and enhanced with computing hours by PRACE resources within the past years. The next call for Tier-0 resources is expected to open around April 2021. More information concerning the calls is available on the PRACE website: Calls for Proposals.

CSC hosts one of the PRACE Advanced Training Centers, which carries out training and education activities. The PRACE Advanced Training Centers enable the European research community to utilize the computational infrastructure available through PRACE.

CSC’s collaboration within PRACE has further strengthened since Dr. Janne Ignatius, Adjunct Professor and Programme Director at CSC, was elected as Chair of PRACE Council for the 2020–2022 term. PRACE Council remains the highest decision-making body of PRACE, where one representative from each PRACE member state participates. The Council is chaired by the Board of the Council consisting of a Chair, a Vice-Chair, and a Secretary.

PRACE receives funding from the European Union Horizon 2020 programme. In addition to this, the PRACE partner countries provide significant funding for the project.


Source: CSC

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