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HPC Wales to lead European HPC network

The Minister for Finance and Government Business Jane Hutt AM (centre) visiting the Cardiff HPC Wales hub yesterday - with Karen Padmore and Rick Hillum, CEO (HPC Wales)The Minister for Finance and Government Business Jane Hutt AM (centre) visiting the Cardiff HPC Wales hub yesterday - with Karen Padmore and Rick Hillum, CEO (HPC Wales)High Performance Computing (HPC) Wales, with support from Bangor University, has been awarded a grant by the European Commission under the EU’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation programme to lead Europe’s Network of HPC Competency Centres for SMEs.

The unique Network will promote access to computational facilities, pool expertise and resources across Europe and share best practice in HPC industrial use, raising awareness of the benefits of HPC and contributing to the implementation of the European HPC Strategy.  

Commencing on 1st June 2015, the initiative will bring together a diverse mix of established national centres of excellence and regional HPC centres across Europe, set up specifically to promote access to HPC for industry for economic development and regeneration purposes.

Welsh Government Minister for Finance and Government Business Jane Hutt AM has welcomed the success:

“Horizon 2020 is the EU’s largest research and innovation programme, worth nearly €80 billion across EU regions to produce world-class science, industrial leadership and commercially successful partnerships, and offers excellent opportunities for Wales to enhance its reputation in the world.

“I’m delighted that the EU has invested Horizon 2020 funds for HPC Wales to lead, with Welsh Universities and other European partners, a network of expertise and innovation within the area of supercomputing, which in turn will play an important role in supporting the growth of SMEs in Wales and across the EU.”

Supported by the Welsh Government and European Regional Development Fund, HPC Wales has a strong track record of providing SMEs with access to HPC services.  Host to the UK’s largest distributed supercomputing network, HPC Wales provides academics and businesses with access to world-class supercomputing facilities along with the training and support necessary to fully exploit it.

The company has already assisted over 220 enterprises, established over 110 industry-academia collaborations and attracted close to £4 million inward investment into Wales. Their reputation in this area means they are well placed to address the challenges of promoting uptake of HPC by SMEs.

Rick Hillum, CEO for HPC Wales, said: “This is an exciting opportunity to shape and influence the future of the role of HPC in industry, in particular SMEs, across Europe. Our success to date is a testament to the insight and vision of our Welsh University partners and funding bodies in establishing Wales’ unique HPC service.

Karen Padmore who led the bid and will lead the project said “Supercomputing is fast becoming an indispensable technology for business growth and we are proud to be leading this significant European Network which will provide the vital support SMEs need to access HPC services for future commercial success.”

Augusto Burgueño Arjona, Head of European Commission’s e-infrastructure unit, said: “The availability of HPC resources, good relationships with academic research and the support of large companies is fundamental for SME competitiveness and responsiveness to market demands.

“By leading this Network, HPC Wales will facilitate the creation of this favourable environment for new and existing SMEs, leading the way for Europe in maximising the economic impact of e-infrastructure.”

Publication date: 12 May 2015