Launch of a combined academic-SME call for access HPC services

Topic: Launch of a combined academic-SME call for access HPC services

Speaker: Ioannis Liabotis (GRNET)

HPC center: GRNET, Greece


Category of Best Practice: SME Access




We decided to open a call for access to our national HPC facility (ARIS) specifically targeting the Greek industry and in particular Greek SMEs and startups. ARIS resources are available to industrial usage for projects pursuing open research as long as the Principal Investigator (PI) of the project comes from a public research organization. A special call for projects was designed and announced targeting commercial companies in Greece, that wanted to collaborate with academic PIs in order to pursue open research using ARIS. The call was advertised over the internet (web site, social media) as well as, presented at meetings and workshop where SME representatives participated i.e. SME incubators workshops. A special training events (webinar) was also planned targeting the users of the successful projects. The webinar would allow users immediate access to the system and resolution of most of the common problems new HPC users face. This was the users would be able to better utilize their available allocation on ARIS.
The call attracted five applications for projects where collaborators where commercial companies. The scientific fields of those projects ranged from Engineering, Biochemistry, Bioinformatics and Life Sciences to Geophysics and Geology. All five applications where of adequate quality to pass the evaluation criteria and where being awarded computational resources to ARIS. In total 1.3 Million core hours where awarded to successful projects. All users got access to ARIS. The dedicated webinar attracted representatives of all companies as well as their academic collaborators and the projects have started their run very soon after the allocation took place. We see this activity of publishing a special call targeting industrial users (i.e. SMEs) as very valuable and an effective way to attract SMEs in order for them to get access to HPC resources and get guidance on how to use them to pursue research projects.