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Shaping European business with HPC

The SHAPE (SME HPC Adoption Programme in Europe) has returned and is once again offering SMEs the chance to develop their business through the use of some of Europe’s most powerful HPC resources.

PRACE has recently announced the second call for applications from small businesses with an interesting idea that can be implemented through the use of Praces’s HPC resources.

The SHAPE programme is a pan-European programme supported by PRACE which aims to raise awareness and provide European SMEs with the expertise necessary to take advantage of the innovation possibilities created by High-Performance Computing (HPC), thus increasing their competitiveness.

PRACE has a particularly important position within Europe’s HPC sector, not only can it supply the computing muscle, provided by six major high-performance computing centres throughout Europe it also has an interest in the uptake of HPC by classical industries such as automotive and aerospace and also by industries not traditionally associated with the use of HPC technology.

The initial The SHAPE Pilot Call allowed 10 SMEs to use PRACE resources and expertise to develop their solutions. The initial results of this project were announced at PRACEdays14, held in Barcelona from 20 to 22 May and covered many wide ranging topics from developing faster sequencing methods, yacht design, pharmaceutical industry clean-rooms, and even rotary turbines.

Today, the innovation capabilities of many businesses depend on HPC-supported prototyping, modelling, and processing. However, SMEs often lack the knowledge and resources to fully take advantage of these possibilities.

SHAPE helps European SMEs overcome those barriers. It equips SMEs with knowledge on advanced design technologies in order to enable the development of new products and services, reduce time-to-market and cost of R&D or increase the service quality. The project aims to foster technological transfer between academia and industry and facilitate the definition of a workable solution based on HPC and of an appropriate business model.

The Second Call for Applications aims to work with a few selected SMEs and introduce HPC-based tools and techniques into their business, operational, or production environment. It is open to all European SMEs that have an interesting idea that can be implemented using HPC. The selected solutions should bring a potential tangible Return on Investment to their business. Following an open selection process based on business and technical criteria, the project work will involve the following:

  • Defining an appropriate HPC model for the selected solution;

  • Assessing the solution’s business and technical viability;

  • Possibility of using PRACE’s resources in order to test the solution (through PRACE Preparatory Access in an open R&D model).

PRACE experts will work with the selected SMEs in order to develop their solutions, providing the participating SMEs with knowledge that will allow them to make an informed decision on the selected HPC solution. Consideration will be given to independent service providers to become involved with the implementation at a later stage.

The Second Call for Applications to the SHAPE opened on 10 November 2014 with a closing date of 15 January 2015. Applications can be submitted at the following link

The Selection Committee will consist of representatives of the PRACE Industrial Advisory Committee (IAC), the PRACE Board of Directors (BoD) and the PRACE IP Project.

Successful applicants will have access to PRACE resources as of 2 March 2015.

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