New Interdisciplinary and Multinational Programme on Application Software towards Exascale Computing for Global Scale Issues

Bonn, (PresseBox) - The Heads of the Research Councils of the G8 states (G8-HORCs) have established a multilateral funding programme to create a new framework for conducting international research. The initiative aims at supporting excellent research on topics of global relevance which can best be tackled by a multinational approach. Participating agencies are the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), the French National Research Agency (ANR), the German Research Foundation (DFG), the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS), the Russian Foundation for Basic Research (RFBR), the Research Councils of the United Kingdom (RCUK), and the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF). Funding should help researchers to cooperate in consortia consisting of partners from at least three of the participating countries.

Exascale Computing

Simulation supported by high performance computing infrastructures has become the third pillar of science, complementary to experimentation and modelling. Major challenges of the 21st century such as climate change, energy, water, environment, or natural disasters can be addressed by high performance numerical and symbolic simulations that are both data and computer intensive. Computing resources required for these simulations, including improved model resolution, model physics, data analysis and visualisation, will reach the exascale (1018 operations per second) level by 2020. However, taking full advantage of these resources for global scale scientific challenges will rely on application software featuring fundamentally new algorithms and data structures capable of exploiting the massive parallelism underlying future exascale level computing.

This international programme aims at supporting collaborations between experts in research areas related to these global challenges and developers of future exascale platforms, so that they address together the relevant needs of the research community during the early design stages of emerging new computing systems. Not only will such collaborations bring together global networks of experts on global topics, they will ensure the rapid and efficient application of new tools as they become available. The focus will be on interdisciplinary projects targeting the exploration and development of open source algorithms and data operations that are resilient, sustainable and scalable to exascale for application solutions to socially relevant global scale issues.

Principles of Funding

Proposals are selected in a joint review process by the participating funding organisations. All administrative steps and procedures are synchronised, but within each selected consortium, funding of the participating researchers is provided by their respective national funding organisation according to their normal terms and conditions for project funding. Funding is meant for collaborative research, not merely for networking, mobility or communication. The total budget for this call is approximately €10 million over three years. Funding can be provided for projects lasting for two or three years. It is expected that 8-10 research consortia will be funded in this call. It is anticipated that awards will be made by February 2011.

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