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PACER project to accelerate Australian HPC research

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The Pawsey Supercomputing Centre has announced the Pawsey Supercomputing Centre for Extreme scale Readiness (PACER) programme to help computational researchers and prepare them for the next era of supercomputing, in time for the next Pawsey supercomputing system.

PACER will involve the application adaptation and optimisation of selected, significant challenges of science on an extreme scale. PACER will prepare researcher’s code optimisation, application and workflow readiness by running a Grand Challenge Problem; for projects running on a previously unavailable scale on the next-generation supercomputer. All results from the programme will be made available to the wider research communities, who will benefit from this experience.

Dr Maciej Cytowski, Pawsey’s Head of Scientific Services comments: ‘This preannouncement of PACER is being made to allow researchers to investigate co-funding options within their research organisations and start preparing for the call for applications later this year.’

‘The PACER programme is targeted at various computational and data science areas. We are looking at projects that can make a significant impact on a given scientific computing discipline by developing and optimising new algorithms for large scale simulations, data processing, machine learning or visual analysis.’

With a minimum three-year allocation on current and next-generation Pawsey supercomputing systems, the PACER projects will develop a long-term, close relationship and collaboration between researchers, application developers and Pawsey’s supercomputing experts.

In 2018 the Australian Government awarded $70 million to upgrade Pawsey’s supercomputing infrastructure, on top of the $80 million granted in 2009 to establish a petascale supercomputing facility. The Pawsey upgrade, as a major part of the national High-Performance Computing (HPC) infrastructure, is ensuring Australia continues to enable computationally and data-intensive research.

Pawsey will also co-fund Australian postdoctoral or PhD positions, embedded within a subset of successful PACER projects. These positions will work to solve computational problems in collaboration with researchers, Pawsey HPC experts (nationally and internationally), hardware and software vendors for selected projects.

Applications will be evaluated by a panel based on merit, technical work plan as well as collaboration and co-funding proposal. Successful applicants will be required to prepare joint research papers, participate and present at crucial supercomputing events and conferences in collaboration with Pawsey.

Detailed information about the application process and the specifications of the allocations will be shared with the call of applications. Applications for PACER will open when the new Pawsey supercomputing system is announced later in 2020 via apply.pawsey.org.au