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PRACE HPC conference a success in Toulouse

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The second PRACE industry seminar, Europe Goes HPC, was held in Toulouse on 7-8 September, attracting more than 100 participants from 21 countries. There were representatives from a wide variety of industry fields, HPC vendors, ISVs, service companies and representatives from the European Commission. The seminar was organised jointly by GENCI and GAUSS and sponsored actively by Airbus, Grand Toulouse and the Midi Pyrénées Region.

'We were very happy to welcome more than 100 participants to such a symbolic city for the European industry as Toulouse. It confirmed the strong interest in PRACE from potential industrial users from companies of all sizes, which represent an important reservoir of industrial competitiveness  in Europe,' said Catherine Riviere, CEO of GENCI and co-organiser of the seminar.

Participants received detailed information about the planned PRACE research infrastructure, associated services and usage. Kostas Glinos explained the EC vision for e-Infrastructures.

Representatives from the Aerospace/Aeronautics industry (Airbus, AeroSpaceValley), automotive industry (BMW), finance (ZKB) and SMEs (Free Field Technology and Prospect FS) demonstrated their competitive advantage through the regular use of HPC and the potential of using the upcoming PRACE infrastructure and associated services.

'In a continuous growing need of numerical simulation, the vision brought by PRACE of industrial usage of its upcoming infrastructures and associated services is complementary with our strategy of HPC usage. It will allow Airbus and AeroSpaceValley (the biggest technological cluster in Europe), from big companies to small and medium sized companies to increase their competitiveness and to face the next challenges of the aerospace and aeronautics industries,' said Jean-Marc Thomas Airbus France VP and Chairman of AeroSpaceValley.

The seminar also contained three parallel sessions, which allowed participants to discuss their needs and expectations regarding the PRACE infrastructure and services, such as organisation and business models, network and security, user support, training needs and relations with ISVs.

The outcome of these parallel sessions showed the need for PRACE to develop expertise centres for providing an integrated industrial offer (with services for porting, scaling out and post processing industrial applications), adapted business models with a mandatory involvement of ISVs and a crucial need for customised HPC training through the expanding PRACE training programme (using live and online training facilities).

The seminar ended with a visit of the Airbus A380 Final Assembly Line in order to galvanize the European spirit of the attendees and illustrate how PRACE may become the 'Airbus of HPC'.