Supercomputers are indispensable tools for solving the most challenging and complex scientific and technological problems through simulations. To remain internationally competitive, European scientists and engineers must be provided with leadership-class supercomputer systems.
The Partnership for Advanced Computing in Europe, PRACE, is a unique persistent pan-European Research Infrastructure for High Performance Computing (HPC). PRACE forms the top level of the European HPC ecosystem. PRACE-project is funded in part by the EU's 7th Framework Programme.
PRACE provides Europe with world-class systems for world-class science and strengthens Europe's scientific and industrial competitiveness. PRACE maintains a pan-European HPC service consisting of up to six top of the line leadership systems (Tier-0) well integrated into the European HPC ecosystem. Each system provides computing power of several Petaflop/s in midterm. On the longer term (2019) Exaflop/s computing power will be targeted by PRACE. This infrastructure is managed as a single European entity.
The partnership was established through the close collaboration of the European countries that prepared the legal, financial, and technical basis in a project. The First Implementation Phase of PRACE is in line with the objectives of the PRACE Research Infrastructure (PRACE-RI) organization: from coordinated system selection and design, coherent management of the distributed infrastructure, software deployment, porting, scaling, optimizing applications and promoting and advancing application development and the skills.
The major objectives of the First Implementation Phase are all related to the speedy cost-effective and optimal utilization of the PRACE Research Infrastructure. It builds upon the results of the PRACE Preparatory Phase project and intensifies as well as expands the Networking and Service Activities targeting the users and their communities. It will integrate many aspects of the DEISA project, in particular the organization of Tier-1 access (i.e. national and topical systems). A considerable part of the Joint Research Activities focuses on the continuation of a permanent process to evaluate promising technologies for future multi-Petaflop/s to Exaflop/s technologies and engages in development collaborations with industrial partners.
The Netherlands is one of the PRACE partners. SURFsara collaborates in the PRACE project. The current Cartesius system is one of the Tier-1 systems.
SURFsara is leading the "Technical Operation and Evolution of the Distributed Infrastructure" work package.
PRACE encourages researchers from across Europe to apply for access to its world-class resources for research with potential high European and international impact. PRACE resources are available through three forms of access: Programme Access, Project Access and Preparatory Access. Programme Access is available to major European projects or infrastructures that can benefit from PRACE resources and for which Project Access is not appropriate. Project Access is intended for individual researchers and research groups including multi-national research groups and has a one-year duration. Calls for Proposals for Project Access are issued twice yearly (May and November). Preparatory Access is intended for resource use required to prepare proposals for Project Access. Applications for Preparatory Access are accepted at any time.