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PRACE chair to lead 'new phase' for organisation

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PRACE – the Partnership for Advanced Computing in Europe – has hailed a new phase in its development with the election of a new chair and vice chair for the next two years.

PRACE counts 25 European member states and associated countries as its members. The organisation aims to facilitate excellent research and science in academia and industry with the most powerful supercomputers, to the advantage of society.

The first five years of PRACE’s existence was based on a model in which the four hosting members – France, Germany, Italy, and Spain – opened their leading-edge systems to European researchers and scientists, via a peer review process managed by PRACE. The PRACE Council is the highest decision-making body in PRACE. It oversees the Research Infrastructure and sets the policy for access to the resources.

During the 21st PRACE Council Meeting on 22 June, Prof Dr Ir Anwar Osseyran of SURF/SURFsara was elected chair of the PRACE Council, and Dr Sergi Girona of BSC was elected vice-chair.

'In the past two years, we have worked hard to develop a new business model for to make the next phase of PRACE sustainable. The Netherlands have played a key role in this process, and this was reason for the Hosting Members to break with tradition and ask for a Dutch candidate for the position of chair of the PRACE Council,' said Osseyran.

Girona added: 'My aim as a vice-chair is to continue positioning PRACE and its services in Europe, in the global HPC ecosystem, as well as to align with the priorities defined by the chair of the PRACE Council.'

Osseyran has been active for several years within PRACE and more generally in HPC and the supercomputing community. His most important goal has been to improve the competitiveness of Europe through advanced IT solutions.

PRACE says that one of his most important tasks as chair will be to guide the organisation into its next phase, as part of which a 'future-proof model' will be designed in which financing of, and access to, the top-level research infrastructure is guaranteed by all participating countries, based on the principle of 'who computes will need to contribute'.

It is expected that France, Germany, Italy and Spain will continue to open their systems to research through this model, while Switzerland will also become a 'Hosting Member'.