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Jülich is Part of the European Supercomputer Network PACE

The PACE consortium has created a globally unique network of computer capacities

[17. April 2007]

Jülich/Berlin, 17 April 2007 - Today in Berlin, the Partnership for Advanced Computing in Europe (PACE) was created. Together with both of the other German supercomputer centres in Stuttgart and Garching and other partners from 15 European countries, Research Centre Jülich is participating in this project.

"It has given scientific computing using supercomputers a European dimension", said Federal Research Minister Annette Schavan at the press conference on the occasion of the execution of the PACE Memorandum of Understanding. EU Director of Emerging Technologies and Infrastructures Ulf Dahlsten emphasised the importance of a united European research community.

"Science and industry need computing power of the highest quality – on the one hand, to conduct pioneering research, and on the other, to create innovations", explained Prof. Achim Bachem, Chairman of the Board of Directors at Research Centre Jülich and Spokesperson for the German Gauss Centre for Supercomputing. "Supercomputers have become an essential tool for all of the sciences", said Bachem before going on to say that "in future, giant leaps in knowledge will only be possible with the help of complex simulations". The aim of PACE is to provide scientists in Europe with unlimited and independent access to fast supercomputers and competent support.

The consortium will make a joint application to the EU at the beginning of May with regard to equipping the European supercomputer centres with the most powerful computers. Ulf Dahlsten, EU Director in the Information Society and Media Directorate-General, welcomes the fact that the nations of Europe are no longer competing with each other but rather have created a united front which will allow them to position themselves better in the global competition.

Creating a supercomputer infrastructure of the highest quality was a recommendation put forward by the European Strategy Forum for Research Infrastructures (ESFRI) in the report they submitted to the European Commission in autumn 2006. The Strategy Forum estimated that the start-up costs for up to four such computer centres – comparable with supercomputer centres in the USA – would be as much as up to € 400 million and that the annual cost of running the centres would exceed € 100 million. These centres would be the best within the European partnership. In the memorandum they signed today, the PACE partners agreed to come up with concrete suggestions over the next two years on how they plan to coordinate the use of their equipment and know-how and how to do so on an ongoing basis.

In the preparatory phase until 2010, transparent, globally competitive organisation structures that transcend boundaries are to be created for scientific computing with supercomputers in Europe, clear guidelines on the hardware required in different locations are to be drawn up, and a European platform for the development of hardware and software in cooperation with industry is to be set up. After this period, PACE will be the central provider of computing resources for researchers all over Europe. A peer-review process will try to ensure that only scientifically excellent projects will be given a chance; however, filing applications should be as easy as possible.

The PACE consortium will be composed of Germany, United Kingdom, France, Spain, Finland, Greece, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Austria, Poland, Portugal, Sweden, Switzerland, and Turkey. Germany will be represented in PACE by the Gauss Centre for Supercomputing (GCS). GCS brings the activities of the three supercomputer centres in Jülich, Stuttgart and Garching together. Its spokesperson is Prof. Achim Bachem, Chairman of the Board of Directors in Jülich. Together, the Gauss centres currently provide scientists in Germany and Europe with around 90 teraflops of computing power.
More information available at http://www.gauss-centre.eu/

Links:

Links to the PACE partners:

  • England: EPSRC (Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council)
  • Frankreich: GENCI - Grand Equipement national pour le Calcul Intensif)
  • Spanien: BSC - Barcelona Supercomputing Center - Centro Nacional de Supercomputacion
  • Deutschland: GAUSS Centre for Supercomputing
  • Finnland: CSC - Scientific Computing Ltd.
  • Griechenland: GRNET - Greek Research and Technology Network
  • Italien: CINECA - Consorzio Interuniversitario per il Calcolo Automatico dell'Italia Nord Orientale
  • Niederlande: NCF - Netherlands Computing Facilities Foundation
  • Norwegen: UNINETT Sigma AS
  • Österreich: GUP - Institut für Informatik der Johannes Kepler Universität Linz
  • Polen: PSNC - Poznan Supercomputing and Networking Center
  • Portugal: Universidade de Coimbra
  • Schweden: KTH - Kungl Tekniska Högskolan
  • Schweiz: CSCS - Swiss National Supercomputing Centre
  • Türkei: ITU - Informatics Institute


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Representatives from the 15 countries involved after the signing of the memorandum.


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Prof. Achim Bachem, Spokesperson for the Gauss Centre for Supercomputing and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Research Centre Jülich signed on behalf of the German supercomputer centres.


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The 15 representatives of the countries involved together with Federal Research Minister Dr. Annette Schavan.


Press contact:

Kosta Schinarakis
Science journalist Corporate Communications
Research Centre Jülich
52425 Jülich, Germany
Tel. 49 2461 61-4771, Fax 49 2461 61-4666
Email: k.schinarakis@fz-juelich.de


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