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PRACE Award for Most Innovative Industrial HPC in Europe goes to Xcelerit

BOLOGNA, 16th April 2012.- Xcelerit, a Dublin-based software company specialising in cross-platform acceleration tools, was awarded First Prize in the competition for the Most Innovative Industrial HPC Solution in Europe. The award was presented at the 4th PRACE Industrial Seminar, the annual PRACE event aimed at developing relationships with industry.

The objective of the competition was to recognise the boldest industrial HPC application and illustrate how far this technology can be taken to change the present best practice of European industry.

The event attracted 96 attendees from 15 countries, including 67 companies and research organizations not affiliated to PRACE. The event lasted two half-days and it included 20 talks, 4 workshops and a networking event, putting 30 speakers on the podium. The main purpose of the seminar was to announce the Open R&D Access Model that PRACE has developed to allow companies to conduct open research using the organization’s resources.

The selection of the overall winner was carried out by a jury consisting of members of the PRACE Scientific Steering Committee. At the Seminar, the award was presented by Dr. Maria Ramalho, PRACE Director, and Prof. Richard Kenway representing PRACE’s Scientific Steering Committee.,.

“HPC is playing a vital role in driving economic recovery. This award signals PRACE’s commitment to encourage innovation and coincides with our first call for industry-led proposals to exploit our world-leading HPC infrastructure. Together they announce to the world that PRACE is for science and industry!”, said Prof. Richard Kenway.

According to PRACE, Xcelerit’s solution addresses the key obstacles to adopting HPC by businesses as identified in a number of studies, including PRACE’s own report ‘The Requirements of Industrial Users’. Among these obstacles are: a lack of knowledge about HPC, the cost of adopting and maintaining new technologies and lack of easy-to-use application tools. The learning curve for developing HPC applications is steep and companies that recognize the potential of using HPC usually face the challenge of having to pay expensive software licenses, the fees of engineering or consultancy companies, or having to hire specialized, hard-to-find staff in order to develop on-site products. The Xcelerit SDK (software development kit) addresses this problem by providing a framework that enables engineers with no knowledge of parallel computing to produce results taking advantage of HPC machines. The solution presented by Xcelerit will thus help to broaden the use of HPC within European industry.

PRACE is looking forward to next year’s contestants, knowing that Xcelerit has set the standard high.

About PRACE: The Partnership for Advanced Computing in Europe (PRACE) is an international non-profit association with its seat in Brussels. The PRACE Research Infrastructure (RI) provides a persistent world-class High Performance Computing (HPC) service for scientists and researchers from academia and industry. The Implementation Phase of PRACE receives funding from the EU’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) under grant agreements n° RI-261557 and n° RI-283493.

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