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Inaugural PRACE seminar hailed a success

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PRACE, the Partnership for Advanced Computing in Europe, held a one-day seminar entitled 'Industrial Competitiveness: Europe goes HPC' in Amsterdam, aimed at European companies with a potential interest in using HPC to increase their competitiveness and productivity and to accelerate innovation.

Held in early September, the seminar had close to 100 invited attendees, CEOs, CIOs, CTOs and high level decision makers from different industrial domains, as well as academic participants, scientific software developers and representation from the European Commission.

One of PRACE's targets is to increase the interest for high-end computing and its potential for competitiveness as well as to raise awareness of the creation of a world class computing infrastructure in Europe for HPC applications.

The participants enjoyed a rich programme, including information on the plan to create a world class HPC infrastructure in Europe and with numerous examples of very beneficial industrial use of HPC. As a result of the seminar, industrial pilot applications suitable for Petaflop/s scalability are planned to be run with the PRACE prototype systems. PRACE also collected needs and expectations from the attendees during discussions and will arrange follow-up meetings with interested attendees.

'The PRACE process of establishing contacts with industry in the first phases of this big European research project is for me very appropriate. The First Industry Seminar obviously showed that very positive synergies can be exploited between research and industry about high performance computing and numerical simulation,' said Jean Francois Hamelin, CIO of EDF R&D, one of the major energy suppliers in Europe.

A second industry seminar is planned for 2009, and the first of two scientific seminars will take place in Lyon on 26 November.