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The European High Performance Computing Joint Undertaking (EuroHPC JU)
News blog15 December 2023European High-Performance Computing Joint Undertaking

FF4EuroHPC: Boosting European SMEs with High-Performance Computing

In the ever-evolving landscape of technology and innovation, FF4EuroHPC’s mission was to support European Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) in learning to apply new technologies that will make them more competitive.

 

Building on the success of its predecessors, the Fortissimo project, FF4EuroHPC provided support to SMEs to access High-Performance Computing (HPC), Artificial Intelligence (AI), and High-Performance Data Analytics (HPDA) technologies and to accelerate their growth in the global market.

Fortissimo, funded by the European Commission under the I4MS initiative starting in July 2013, sought to strengthen Europe’s global competitiveness. The project facilitated the use of advanced modeling, simulation, and data analytics services through a cloud-based HPC infrastructure. The project made these services accessible to SMEs in the engineering and manufacturing sectors. This access to HPC resources transformed these companies design processes, improved products and services, and ultimately contributed to increased employment and economic growth in the European Union.

Traditionally, SMEs faced significant barriers in accessing HPC resources due to technical and financial constraints. Fortissimo 1, and later Fortissimo 2 starting in the end of 2015, addressed these challenges by providing SMEs with cloud-based HPC infrastructure and expert support, which enabled them to identify business opportunities, save time and money, and enhance their position in the market.

Building upon the success of Fortissimo 1 and Fortissimo 2, FF4EuroHPC further connected European SMEs with cutting-edge technologies in the realm of HPC. By providing access to high-end HPC services, FF4EuroHPC enabled SMEs to develop unique products, innovative business opportunities, and gain a competitive edge in their respective industries. The project aimed at shortening development time, reducing time-to-market, and decreasing staff, materials, and other development costs, ultimately driving growth and success for SMEs. Also under FF4EuroHPC, an effective mechanism for the inclusion of innovative, agile SMEs was added to lower their barriers for entering the market and exploiting new business opportunities.

In 2023, Fortissimo celebrated its 10th anniversary. In the past decade and three funding phases, including FF4EuroHPC, the Fortissimo projects have generated impressive results: collaboration with more than 330 partners resulting in executing more than 130 experiments leading to more than 120 success stories. Through these activities, the Fortissimo projects promote innovation for SMEs and help shape the future for European industry.

New business opportunities: Two Open Calls and 42 Success Stories

To achieve the FF4EuroHPC goals, two open calls were launched, seeking proposals from European SMEs that address business challenges using HPC technologies. In the first open call, 68 high-quality submissions involving 202 partners from 25 European countries were received, out of which 16 were selected for funding, including 53 partners from 9 countries. These experiments demonstrated the powerful combination of HPC and AI techniques to deliver better and faster results for various industrial domains, especially in manufacturing.

In the second open call, FF4EuroHPC received 70 experiment proposals, engaging 184 organisations from 27 countries. A total of 26 proposals was selected, including 79 partners from 22 countries. These experiments covered a broad range of end-user domains and computational disciplines, reaffirming the project's commitment to supporting diverse SMEs and their specific needs.

Success Stories: Inspiration for Innovation

The FF4EuroHPC project produced a wide range of success stories, showcasing how SMEs have leveraged HPC capabilities to innovate and excel in their industries. While these stories can be found on the project's website and YouTube, the overall impact has been impressive. The success stories demonstrate how HPC has catalysed advancements in fields like computational fluid dynamics, structural simulation, and machine learning in various industrial sectors – from manufacturing, energy, healthcare, maritime and many others.

The FF4EuroHPC project marked a milestone on the progression from Fortissimo’s first steps to ubiquitous uptake of HPC and related technologies, offering SMEs unprecedented access to cutting-edge technologies. By reducing barriers and providing expert support, the project empowers SMEs to become more competitive. Thereby, FF4EuroHPC paved the way for a prosperous and technologically advanced future for the European industry.

Figure 1: Topology Optimisation of Micro-channel Heat-Exchangers
Figure 1: Topology Optimisation of Micro-channel Heat-Exchangers
FF4EuroHPC
2 women and two men standing in a exhibition booth, in the background we can see the FF4EuroHPC, EuroCC and LuxProvide logos.
Figure 2: Joint booth at ISC22 together with EuroHPC JU and LuxProvide
FF4EuroHPC

 

by the FF4EuroHPC team

 

FF4EuroHPC is a Horizon 2020 project and has received funding from the European High-Performance Computing Joint Undertaking (JU) under grant agreement No 951745. The Project is coordinated by HLRS, and supported by CINECA, scapos, ARCTUR, Teratec and CESGA.

Details

Publication date
15 December 2023
Author
European High-Performance Computing Joint Undertaking