For some years now there has been a growing realisation that application software is lagging behind HPC hardware developments. While several Petaflop-scale supercomputers are now available worldwide, it is becoming increasingly difficult to exploit these machines with single applications. Substantial efforts are needed in order to enable computational science communities to solve problems with high scientific impact through efficient use of high-end supercomputing resources.
To help meet this challenge the Jülich Supercomputing Centre (JSC) has implemented a new type of domain-specific research and support structure: the Simulation Laboratory. Several such units have by now been established at JSC. What began with SimLabs in the fields of Computational Biology, Molecular Systems, Plasma Physics, and Climate Modelling, was extended in 2012 by the SimLabs Nuclear and Particle Physics, Terrestrial Systems and, in collaboration with JARA-HPC at RWTH Aachen, the JARA SimLab "Highly Scalable Fluids and Solids Engineering". The latest SimLab Neuroscience came on stream early 2013.