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Consolidation of European Research Excellence in Exascale HPC Systems

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - EUROLAB4HPC2 (Consolidation of European Research Excellence in Exascale HPC Systems)

Reporting period: 2019-05-01 to 2020-04-30

The overall objectives of Eurolab4HPC are
[O0] Strengthening academic research excellence and innovation in HPC in Europe
This is the ultimate long-term objective. It is implemented by means of four concrete short-term objectives that are attainable during the lifetime of the project.
[O1] Structuring the HPC community
[O2] Promoting entrepreneurship in HPC
[O3] Stimulating technology transfer in HPC
[O4] Disseminating HPC community news

The Eurolab4HPC partners are Chalmers (Sweden), BSC (Spain), UEDIN (UK), RWTH (Germany), UNIMAN (UK), INRIA (France), Uni Augsburg (Germany), ETHZ (Switzerland), EPFL (Switzerland), Ghent University (Belgium), Technion (Israel), FORTH (Greece) and HLRS (Germany).

The Eurolab4HPC project is very ambitious in its goals and wants to extend its operation beyond its 13 partners. To increase the effectiveness of the project, we have introduced the notion of Eurolab4HPC members, European institutions that are not formal partners of the project, but have a proven track record in HPC research. The member institutions did not sign the grant agreement or the consortium agreement, but are actively involved in the project. They receive invitations to attend workshops, to send researchers to the Eurolab4HPC Summer School, they are able to participate in the short collaborations and contribute to the update of the Eurolab4HPC Vision.

The project accepted 17 member institutions on top of the 13 partner institutions of the project. The Eurolab4HPC partner institutions and the Eurolab4HPC member institutions add up to 30 institutions represented by 115 established researchers. This is the Eurolab4HPC community, the prime target group of this project. Each member has its own network and operates in a local ecosystem. Via the member institutions, we can also reach out to this larger network.
The activities undertaken in work package 1 structuring the community are meant to knit the Eurolab4HPC community closer together by creating different opportunities to connect, such as technical meetings and trainings.

During the first project period, a thematic workshop was organized in Heraklion for the first time on 30 October 2018. It attracted 90 participants. The second thematic workshop took place in Edinburgh on 17 April 2019 and welcomed 99 attendees. 15 new collaborations were reported as a result of these events.

The first Eurolab4HPC summer school was organized from 8 until 14 July in Fiuggi, Italy and consisted of 3 HPC courses. A total of 48 students joined the 3 courses. After the summer school, they gave the event an appreciation score of 4.45 out of 5.

Eurolab4HPC launched its first call for collaboration grants from 1 July to 30 October 2018. The call resulted in 6 applications of which 5 were selected for funding.

During the first project period, Eurolab4HPC has further disseminated the vision document produced in 2017 and has started the preparations for the new version that will be published in 2020.

Eurolab4HPC has closely collaborated with EXDCI and other European Stakeholders and communities (such as ETP4HPC, PRACE, FetHPC projects, FocusCoE and CoEs, HiPEAC, TETRAMAX, EPI, etc ). Between 1 May 2017 and 30 April 2018, 4 joint ecosystem activities were set up to stimulate interaction between Eurolab4HPC and other communities.

Eurolab4HPC brings together researchers, industry and users for the development and the use of open source hardware and software creating a community to work on long-term projects. At the end of October 2018, Eurolab4HPC launched its open source platform providing links to major Open Source projects related to the HPC domain and announcing Open Source activities of Eurolab4HPC.

Work package 2 promoting entrepreneurship aims to make the HPC community more entrepreneurial by (1) teaching researchers about entrepreneurship, (2) teaching researchers how to innovate, and (3) helping researchers to set up a business and find funding for it.

The first Eurolab4HPC idea-to-business training was organized on 12 and 13 November 2018 in Gothenburg. This workshop introduced a number of practical tools and methods that are useful when trying to turn a new technology into a scalable business. Ten people joined this training resulting in 8 concrete potential business ideas.

Eurolab4HPC has also started the preparations for its Open Source Innovation Camp in June 2019, an event that explores the potential of commercial exploitation of Open Source Hardware and Software, and at the same time promotes creativity and bottom-up grassroots innovation initiatives.

A first call for business prototyping projects was launched from 1 June to 30 September 2018. In this call, a number of PhD students, early career researchers, senior researchers and industrial technical leaders with a strong business idea are selected, monitored and mentored using the business model canvas. Three projects were selected for funding in this call.

In addition, several events focusing on stimulating entrepreneurship were organised, such as a Venture Creation Session in Gothenburg which was attended by 33 people and an Innovation Workshop in Edinburgh attended by 106 participants.

Work package 3 fostering industry take-up explicitly focuses on academia-to-industry technology transfer as a means for getting research results into innovative industrial products.

Two industry days were organized in the first project period. The first industry day took place in Stockholm on 26 November 2018 and welcomed 94 industrial participants. The second industry day organized in Edinburgh on 19 February 2019 welcomed 19 industrial participants.

On 7 and 8 March 2019, the Eurolab4HPC project planned a technology transfer training intended to equip academic researchers with a basic understanding of the entrepreneurial process, the generation of business models, and the respective managerial challenges.

A first call for Technology Transfer Projects was launched from 1 June to 30 September 2018. A Technology Transfer Project provides partial funding for bilateral Academia-Industry Technology Transfer Projects in HPC. Three projects were selected for funding in this call.

The work package 4 communication consists of tasks such as maintaining the website, writing newsitems, organizing a roadshow and vision dissemination. All these activities serve the clear purpose to share news about the community and to promote the community internally and externally.

A dedicated communication officer assures the high quality of the Eurolab4HPC communications and reaches out to a wide and diverse audience outside the Eurolab4HPC community.

Special attention was given to the dissemination of the Eurolab4HPC vision document. At 6 events, the document was presented and feedback was collected for the new version that will be published early 2020.

The roadshow disseminated the achievements of both the project and its members beyond the community. We attended 4 international trade events.

The work package 5 Management guarantees that all the work packages and tasks are carried out as described in the description of action.
As for the objectives of EuroLAB4HPC, the project is expected to have joined an active community in HPC technologies [O1]; generated several startup companies [O2] and technology transfers [O3] around HPC community and made EuroLAB4HPC a brand that continues to thrive after the project is concluded.
Eurolab4HPC School
Eurolab4HPC Innovation Workshop
Eurolab4HPC Logo