PRACE Third Implementation Phase (PRACE-3IP) project

Twenty six partners collaborate in the Third Implementation PRACE Phase (PRACE-3IP) project: PRACE aisbl and its 24 Members under the co-ordination of Forschungzentrum Jülich (JUELICH). PRACE-3IP complements and extends the work undertaken in PRACE-1IP and PRACE-2IP , e.g. to deliver a broader set of HPC services suitable for use by industry.

- Project facts

Start date: 01/07/2012
Duration: 24 months (PCP Component of PRACE-3IP will run for 66 months)
Budget: 26.8 €M
EC contribution: 19 €M
Grant agreement number: RI-312763

- PRACE-3IP Public Deliverables

- Objectives

PRACE-3IP is designed to continue, extend and complement the previous and on-going work in the implementation phase of the PRACE Research Infrastructure. This involves providing a long-term, high-quality infrastructure for European Tier-0 systems, managing the coordination between the shared portion of the national HPC resources (Tier-1 systems), and strengthening the established relationships with industrial users. PRACE-3IP will add a new key activity to the PRACE RI: the use of Pre-Commercial Procurement (PCP).The following four activities are central to PRACE-3IP:

  • Pre-Commercial Procurement: Pilot exercise for a joint procurement and joint ownership of innovative HPC prototypes, focusing on high-energy efficiency.
  • Deployment of HPC services for European industry: Proposes a broad set of services suitable for use by industry, including access to HPC resources, knowledge transfer through application support, training and expertise.
  • Application scaling and support to address major socio-economic challenges: Tackles major socio-economic challenges and the use of simulation and modelling to deal with them.
  • Training and outreach for growth: Establishes a broad training and outreach activities specifically designed to engage more user communities, including industry, in the use of HPC systems.

- Action plan

The work of PRACE-3IP and its objectives are structured into eight Work Packages that address the requirements of the European HPC ecosystem. Work Packages are mapped to four key objectives (PCP, HPC Services, Applications Scaling, Training & Outreach) using three activity types (Networking, Service and Joint Research activities). These activity types may be characterized as follows:

Networking activities

The Networking activities are designed to support the PRACE RI to fulfil its mission and to achieve the corresponding objectives of the call. All Networking activities will be carried out in close collaboration with the Service and Joint Research activities drawing on the technical results produced there and supporting them in legal issues and dissemination. The Networking activities to be performed include:

  • Mandatory tasks related to the EC funded project management.
  • Organisational and legal work in support of the Pre-Commercial Procurement pilot. Related requirements of the technical Work Packages, addressing especially the collaboration with industry and other projects.
  • Dissemination activities, complementing and expanding the ongoing/initiated activities. The special focus on outreach beyond the HPC experts and direct users (young people, general public, etc.).
  • Training: Extend the PRACE Advance Training Centres, developed and deployed in PRACE-1IP/2IP, to trainings dedicated to industrial users. Continuation of other well-proven educational concepts, such as PRACE seasonal schools, the PRACE Training Portal, and international collaboration with the US and other regions.

Service activities

The Service activities are designed and structured to maximise the return on investment of the PRACE RI for the academic and industrial users of the European HPC infrastructure. They address the needs of the user communities and/or individual users across the Tier-0 and Tier-1 levels and include:

  • Consistent services across the Tier-0 and Tier-1 levels, coordination of actions between the operational teams at the Hosting Partner sites and the Tier-1 centres, common tools, security standards, best practices, etc.
  • Design and pilot of a comprehensive Access Programme especially for SMEs. Provisioning of resources, focused training, and support to port, scale and optimize applications.
  • Operational services of the HPC infrastructure provided by PRACE, enriched by new Tier-0 and Tier-1 systems after the end of PRACE-2IP. New services and optimisation of the distributed infrastructure.
  • Application enabling and support on HPC systems, a very successful work by PRACE, now with focus on applications of major socio-economic impact. Including evaluation of tools and techniques developed in other projects and documented best practices.

Joint Research activities

The joint Pre-Commercial Procurement (PCP) pilot undertaken by PRACE to obtain a solution for a “Whole System Design for Energy Efficient HPC” is the first of its kind on a Europe-wide level. PRACE-3IP will follow the sound principles of its partners in procurement of advanced HPC where several departments (financial, legal, procurement, ICT) collaborate throughout the process from call for tenders, selection of vendor(s), contract, and acceptance. While the PCP pilot will build on this know-how, it has an extended scope: PCP addresses the necessity of one or more tangible additions to the technical offering of European companies which would not likely become available by market incentives alone. PCP requires a phased approach. Each phase contains refinement of requirements, definition of evaluation criteria, and evaluation of the proposed solution(s):

  • Solution exploration: Proposals received in response to the PCP call will be analysed to identify the suppliers to be invited to start development work and prototyping.
  • Prototyping: Retained suppliers will advance engineering work up to the construction of a prototype for evaluation by the procurers. The prototype will be used to confirm all major technical decisions.
  • Development of a first product/service: A limited number of first products/services will be developed in order to allow the retained suppliers to advance engineering. The delivered solutions will be tested by the procurers engaging users when possible.

- Collaboration with other EC funded projects

EGI Inspire
HPC Europa2

- Project Partners

  • JUELICH- Forschungszentrum Jül
    ich GmbH (Germany, Coordinator)
  • GCS – Gauss Centre for Supercomputing (GCS) e.V. (Germany)
  • GENCI – Grand Equipement National de Calcul Intensif (France)
  • EPSRC – The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (United Kingdom)
  • BSC – Barcelona Supercomputing Center – Centro Nacional de Supercomputacion (Spain)
  • CSC-Tieteellinen Laskenta OY (Finland)
  • ETHZ – Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zuerich (Switzerland)
  • NCF – Stichting Nationale Computerfaciliteiten (The Netherlands)
  • JKU – Johannes Kepler Universitaet Linz (Austria)
  • SNIC – Vetenskapsradet (Sweden)
  • CINECA Consorzio Interuniversitario (Italy)
  • PSNC – Instytut Chemii Bioorganicznej Pan WPoznaniu (Poland)
  • SIGMA – UNINETT AS (Norway)
  • GRNET – Greek Research and Technology Network S.A. (Greece)
  • UC-LCA – Faculdade de Ciencias e Tecnologia da Universidade de Coimbra (Portugal)
  • NUI Galway – National University of Ireland, Galway (Ireland)
  • UYBHM – Istanbul Technical University, Ayazaga Campus (Turkey)
  • CaSToRC – The Cyprus Institute (Cyprus)
  • NCSA – National Centre for Supercomputing Applications (Bulgaria)
  • VSB-TUO – VSB – Technical University of Ostrava (Czech Republic)
  • IPB – Institute of Physics Belgrade (Serbia)
  • NIIF – Nemzeti Információs Infrastruktúra Fejlesztési Intézet (Hungary)
  • UCPH – Københavns Universitet (Denmark)
  • IUCC – Inter University Computation Center (Israel)
  • PRACE – Partnership for Advanced Computing in Europe AISBL (Belgium)
  • ULFME – University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Mechanical Engineering (Slovenia)