With the PPI4HPC project, for the first time in Europe, a joint European procurement of innovative high-performance IT equipment for HPC centre (supercomputer or storage system), focused on key innovations especially in the field of energy efficiency. It was performed by a consortium of members of the PRACE e-Infrastructure – a world-class environment capable of achieving global leadership. In order to address major scientific, industrial and societal challenges, and to maintain Europe competitiveness within a global race involving USA, China, and Japan; the European Commission has implemented a vision towards the establishment of a strong and competitive HPC integrated ecosystem to which the PPI4HPC project contributed.
The involved HPC centres (namely BSC, CEA/GENCI, CINECA and Forschungszentrum Jülich) have a strong track record in providing supercomputing resources at European level. The project participants are founding members of PRACE and have made Tier-0 systems available through PRACE to European researchers.This joint initiative created benefits in multiple respects:
- More supercomputing resources are efficiently exploitable for science and engineering applications in Europe and were used for multiple societal and industrial key scopes (climate research (IPCC), new energies (fusion), aeronautics (combustion) or medicine/health (urgent computing for Covid-19)) within PRACE, the pan-European HPC infrastructure, as relevant applications played an important role in guiding this procurement process.
- R&D on HPC architectures and technologies in Europe have been strengthened as suitable incentives were provided by this joint procurement process.
- The coordinated approach allowed having more impact on the design of the solutions according to the need of scientists and engineers in Europe.
- The participants worked together on coordinated roadmaps for providing HPC resources optimised to the needs of European scientists and engineers.
- All solutions included innovations that significantly improved the quality of the offered solution and their energy efficiency, resulting in better science at lower cost for the public procurer and competitive advantage for technology providers participating at this PPI.
- Both technical and legal lessons learned from PPI4HPC have been widely disseminated across Europe and a best practice guide for joint procurement of innovative solutions have been published online, paving the path for PPI4HPC partners for teaming up with EuroHPC in the joint procurement of next generation Pre-Exascale and Exascale HPC systems in Europe.