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EuroLab-4-HPC Report Summary

Project ID: 671610
Funded under: H2020-EU.1.2.2.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - EuroLab-4-HPC (EuroLab-4-HPC: Foundations of a European Research Center of Excellence in High Performance Computing Systems)

Reporting period: 2015-09-01 to 2016-08-31

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

Europe has built momentum in becoming a leader in large parts of the HPC ecosystem. It has brought together technical and business stakeholders from application developers via system software to exascale systems. Despite such gains, excellence in high performance computing systems is often fragmented and opportunities for synergy missed.

EuroLab-4-HPC’s bold overall goal is to build connected and sustainable leadership in high-performance computing systems by bringing together the different and leading performance orientated communities in Europe, working across all layers of the system stack, fuelling new industries in HPC.

The overall objectives of the project are

Obj. 1. To create a portfolio of assets, including HPC platforms, technologies and align the agendas of
the best research groups across the HPC stack on a roadmap for high-performance computing system research.

Obj. 2. To define a curriculum for high-performance computing systems and best education/training
practices to foster future European technology leaders in high-performance computing systems.

Obj. 3. To accelerate uptake of new high-performance computing system technologies in the commercial arena.

Obj. 4. To build a community where the objectives and activities of EuroLab-4-HPC are communicated
and disseminated to all HPC stakeholder groups from technology via business to venture capital.

Obj. 5. The fifth objective is sustainability. The project will explore and identify the most appropriate
legal and governance structure and business models to build a non-profit Centre of Excellence in High-Performance Computing Systems.

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

To this end, and as a result of the first year, the project has generated the following concrete results towards the aforementioned objectives.

- WP1 has coordinated the project. It initially has set up the coordination infrastructure including mailing lists, repositories for sharing documents and a web site. It has organized monthly steering group meetings physical or over webex. In addition, it has set up the infrastructure for the two project grant instrument calls (cross-site visit projects and business prototyping projects) and overlooked that all milestones are met and that project results are disseminated to the general public as well as to the European Commission in a timely fashion. This contributes to all objectives.

- WP2 has put together a roadmap for research on high-performance computing systems targeting 7-15 years ahead. It has also provided a response to a call for consultation on disruptive technologies in May 2016. A preliminary version of the roadmap has been submitted as deliverable D2.1. Moreover, WP2 opened up a call for cross-site proposals. As part of this, a review panel was solicited from outside of the project consortium and decided upon in the steering committee. At the closing of the call, 20 proposals had been submitted out of which 10 were selected for funding. These accomplishments directly contribute to Objective 1. Finally, WP2 also organized a mentoring process of the cross-site project participants to identify seeds for business protototyping projects (BPP). In fact, as many as 7 out of the 10 projects later submitted a BPP proposal. This activity directly addresses Objective 3.

- WP3 has made an inventory of courses relevant for an HPC curriculum in high-performance computing systems. Furthermore, WP3 also made an inventory of best practices in on-line training that is reported in D3.1. Finally, two training pilots on business prototyping have been organized in the first year; one available on-line from the website of the project and another as a workshop. All these activities contribute to Objective 2.

- After the first year, WP4 has established an innovation network of 18 members. Unfortunately, as is explained later, it was too early to attract any interest for members from the venture capital community. This is summarized in D4.1. Finally, WP4 has also carried out a first selection of BPPs that are now running. 20 proposals were submitted. 12 of them were of sufficient quality to be put forward in the review process. In the end, 3 proposals were accepted. These activities have contributed to Objective 3.

- WP5 has organized three dissemination and engagement events. Two engagement events were organized as HiPEAC workshops and one together with the EXDCI project in the HPC Summit. In addition, the coordinator engaged with the EXDCI and other FETHPC projects and CoEs giving project presentations. Second, several open-source workshops have been arranged and tutorials on new applications for cloud computing have been given. This is summarized in D5.1. The activities in this workpackage contribute to Objective 4.

- WP6 is tasked with establishing a model for self-sustainability by looking into organizational issues and business models. WP6 has developed a strategic plan for the agenda of a future Centre of Excellence in high-performance computing systems and has also carried out a survey with interviews of stakeholders to identify successful models for a CoE. Based on this, a hypothesis regarding potential value propositions of a future CoE and its beneficiaries (customer groups) have been identified. These activities contribute to Objective 5.

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

Important contributions so far include:

- Roadmap for long-term research on HPC computing system issues. The expected impact is to align the systems research community to long-term themes.
- First round of cross-site project has been run. The expected impact is joining and alignment of research groups across Europe.
- HPC curriculum. In the first year a preliminary curriculum and best practices in on-line learning has been formed. The expected impact is to act as long-term training of future HPC computing systems leaders
- Innovation. An innovation network has been formed and a first round of business prototyping is underway. The expected impact is to validate a methodology for acceleration of uptake of innovations
- Community building and engagement and dissemination. Several engagement events with participation from both the systems community as well as the HPC user community have been successfully arranged. The expected impact is joining of today disjoint communities.
- Self-sustainability. An agenda for a future CoE on HPC computing sýstems and a list of value proposition hypotheses as well as potential beneficiaries of such a CoE have been established. The expected impact is a validated business plan for a sustainable CoE at the end of the project.

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