Singapore’s National Supercomputing Resources Joins the Fight Against COVID-19

March 24, 2020

SINGAPORE, March 24, 2020 — Singapore scientists can now tap into the country’s unique supercomputing resources for COVID-19 research through a special Call for Projects (CfP) put out by the National Supercomputing Centre (NSCC) Singapore. The COVID-19 Special CfP comes outside of normal CfP cycles, which happen twice a year.

“The government is treating the COVID-19 situation not as a medical crisis but as a national crisis,” said Mr Peter Ho, Chairman of the NSCC Steering Committee. “This means that all resources of government and of the nation can and should be deployed in support of managing the outbreak. Hence, it is appropriate for NSCC to deploy its HPC resources in support, and also taking priority over other commitments where reasonable and necessary.” NSCC’s Chief Executive, Associate Professor Tan Tin Wee added, “This represents our effort to show our solidarity with the global community in the fight against this pandemic.”

The provision comes in the form of a COVID-19 Special Call for Projects that was launched on 23 March 2020. The CfP welcomes applications from local scientists who require supercomputing resources from now till September 2020. Successful applications will benefit from a fast-tracked approval process, a priority queue for access to supercomputing resources and access to some of the most advanced high performance computing (HPC) systems available in Singapore. These include the ASPIRE 1 petascale supercomputer with 1,288 nodes of CPU and 128 accelerator nodes with NVIDIA K40 GPUs; an AI System with six state-of-the-art 8-GPU NVIDIA DGX-1 with V100 cards; and 13PB of high performance storage.

“Speed is one of the key elements which global experts have cited as a leading factor in helping to resolve the pandemic,” said A/Prof Tan. “Supercomputers can play a crucial role in speeding up research whether it is in detecting the virus, tracing the infected, studying mutations in the coronavirus genome, building faster test kits or developing vaccines for the virus.“

“COVID-19 is a national and global priority. It is imperative for scientists to be urgently equipped with the necessary tools to give them the best chance to fight the pandemic,” said Dr Sebastian Maurer-Stroh, Deputy Executive Director (Research), A*STAR Bioinformatics Institute (BII), who was one of the first in the world to analyse the coronavirus genome.

To support the COVID-19 research CfP, NSCC has shortened the review and approval process for these special applications to just 2 weeks from the normal 12 weeks. The applications will be reviewed by a COVID-19 selection committee which comprise Singapore HPC Bioinformatics and Molecular Biology experts.

About the National Supercomputing Centre (NSCC) Singapore

The National Supercomputing Centre (NSCC) Singapore was established in 2015 and manages Singapore’s first national petascale facility with available high performance computing (HPC) resources. As a National Research Infrastructure funded by the National Research Foundation (NRF), we support the HPC research needs of the public and private sectors, including research institutes, institutes of higher learning, government agencies and companies. With the support of its stakeholders, including Agency for Science Technology and Research (A*STAR), Nanyang Technological University (NTU), National University of Singapore (NUS), Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD), National Environment Agency (NEA) and Technology Centre for Offshore and Marine, Singapore (TCOMS), NSCC catalyses national research and development initiatives, attracts industrial research collaborations and enhances Singapore’s research capabilities. For more information, please visit https://www.nscc.sg/.


Source: National Supercomputing Centre (NSCC) Singapore

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