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TOPIC : Extreme scale computing technologies, methods and algorithms for key applications and support to the HPC ecosystem

Topic identifier: FETHPC-02-2019
Publication date: 27 October 2017

Types of action: RIA Research and Innovation action
CSA Coordination and support action
Planned opening date:
07 May 2019
Deadline: 24 September 2019 17:00:00

Time Zone : (Brussels time)
  Horizon 2020 H2020 website
Pillar: Excellent Science
Work Programme Year: H2020-2018-2020
Work Programme Part: Future and Emerging Technologies
Topic Description
Specific Challenge:

To develop world-class extreme scale, power-efficient and highly resilient High Performance Computing and data technologies, and to provide support for a sustainable exascale HPC ecosystem in Europe, enabling collaborations among the relevant stakeholders.


A. Research and Innovation Actions

Proposals should address the development of extreme scale computing technologies, methods and algorithms through a strong co-design approach driven by ambitious extreme computing and data applications and in close cooperation with the scientific disciplines and stakeholders concerned.

The designs of the technology should respond to critical demands of performance, energy efficiency, scale, resilience, programmability, dynamic workflows etc. Proposals should describe clear metrics and targets when addressing these demands, quantify progress with respect to the state-of-the-art, and address the research challenges with a holistic view and their impact on the whole computational process including data movement and storage.

Proposals should clearly articulate how research will have a significant impact in enabling ambitious extreme-scale scientific and engineering applications.

Where relevant, proposals should also provide a path towards long-term standardisation of the technologies (e.g. system software architecture, programming models, APIs, etc).

Proposals should clearly identify and address at least one of the following areas:

a. System software and management, addressing adaptive and dynamic scheduling; heterogeneity of system components; efficient data access, transfers and communication, novel execution models for emerging HPC and High Performance Data Analytics (HPDA) usages, etc.

b. Programming environments, reducing programming complexity and increasing scalability through advancements throughout the programming model and system software stack, and addressing code maintainability and functional portability across existing and future architectures and systems. Interoperability throughout the programming environment should be addressed.

c. I/O and storage environment for data-centric extreme scale computing addressing overall system performance predictability, feature-rich and flexible data access and storage system API’s, backup and retrieval of extreme volumes of data and systems operation in virtualised operating environment.

d. Data-intensive supercomputing and emerging HPC use modes addressing efficient implementation of established Big Data software frameworks and workloads on extreme-scale HPC systems, including the integration of Big Data and HPC programming models; algorithmic research addressing Machine Learning on HPC systems; interactive use of HPC resources for real time data analysis.

e. Mathematical methods and algorithms for extreme scalability of computing and data with impact in system energy reduction and resilience, and addressing the usability and the efficient implementation on different HPC architectures. Work should link to HPC and extreme scale data architectures and technologies as well as to relevant applications (e.g. challenges identified by the European Centres of Excellence on HPC).

The Commission considers that proposals for Research and Innovation Actions requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 5 and 10 million and a duration of 3 years would allow this area to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts and duration.

Note that special Grant Conditions will apply for projects granted under this topic. Please see under Call Conditions.

B. Coordination and Support Action

To boost a sustainable European HPC ecosystem by providing activities to structure the community, to promote collaborations and synergies among Horizon 2020 HPC projects, Centres of Excellence on HPC (CoEs), Extreme scale Demonstrators (EsD), to create links with Big Data related activities, and to follow up and cooperate with other relevant international HPC activities. A specific focus will be given to the convergence of HPC and HPDA (High Performance Data Analytics). Activities should also address the following:

  • coordinate the European HPC strategy, and monitor and measure its implementation,
  • produce roadmaps for HPC technology and applications, covering also the post-exascale, and evaluate them through impact monitoring
  • promote the European strategy and the results of the European HPC ecosystem (including at international level), engage with HPC users and foster industry take-up
  • build and maintain relations with other relevant international HPC activities
  • support the generation of young talent.

This coordination and support action should be driven by the relevant actors in the HPC field. It is expected that only one proposal will be selected.

The Commission considers that proposals for Coordination and Support Actions requesting a contribution from the EU of up to EUR 4 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact:

A. Research and Innovation Actions

  • Contribution to the realisation of the ETP4HPC Strategic Research Agenda
  • Addressing important segments of the broader and/or emerging HPC markets, especially extreme-computing, emerging use modes and extreme-data HPC systems, and addressing where relevant the path to industrialisation of results
  • Strengthening competitiveness and leadership of European industry & science, in particular of European technology supply
  • European excellence in mathematics and algorithms for extreme scale HPC systems and applications working with extreme scale data
  • Impact on key scientific or industrial applications with relevance to societal challenges

B. Coordination and Support Action

  • strengthening the European research and industrial leadership in the supply, operation and use of HPC and HPDA systems
  • contribution to the realisation of the ETP4HPC Strategic Research Agenda
  • structuring the efforts of stakeholders for implementing the European HPC strategy
  • reinforced cooperation in international endeavours on HPC
Cross-cutting Priorities:

International cooperation

Topic conditions and documents

1. Eligible countries: described in Annex A of the Work Programme.
A number of non-EU/non-Associated Countries that are not automatically eligible for funding have made specific provisions for making funding available for their participants in Horizon 2020 projects. See the information in the Online Manual.


2. Eligibility and admissibility conditions: described in Annex B and Annex C of the Work Programme. 


Proposal page limits and layout: please refer to Part B of the proposal template in the submission system below.


3. Evaluation:

  • Evaluation criteria, scoring and thresholds are described in Annex H of the Work Programme.  
  • Submission and evaluation processes are described in the Online Manual.

4. Indicative time for evaluation and grant agreements:

Information on the outcome of evaluation (single-stage call): maximum 5 months from the deadline for submission.
Signature of grant agreements: maximum 8 months from the deadline for submission.


5. Proposal templates, evaluation forms and model grant agreements (MGA):

Research and Innovation Action:

Specific provisions and funding rates
Standard proposal template
Standard evaluation form
General MGA - Multi-Beneficiary
Annotated Grant Agreement

Coordination and Support Action:

Specific provisions and funding rates
Standard proposal template
Standard evaluation form
General MGA - Multi-Beneficiary
Annotated Grant Agreement


6. Additional provisions:

Horizon 2020 budget flexibility
Classified information
Technology readiness levels (TRL) – where a topic description refers to TRL, these definitions apply

For grants awarded under this topic for Research and Innovation Actions the Commission or Agency may object to a transfer of ownership or the licensing of results to a third party established in a third country not associated to Horizon 2020. The respective option of Article 30.3 of the Model Grant Agreement will be applied.

8. Additional documents:

1. Introduction WP 2018-20
2. Future and Emerging Technologies (FETs) WP 2018-20
3. Dissemination, Exploitation and Evaluation WP 2018-20

General annexes to the Work Programme 2018-2020

Legal basis: Horizon 2020 Regulation of Establishment
Legal basis: Horizon 2020 Rules for Participation
Legal basis: Horizon 2020 Specific Programme


7. Open access must be granted to all scientific publications resulting from Horizon 2020 actions.

Where relevant, proposals should also provide information on how the participants will manage the research data generated and/or collected during the project, such as details on what types of data the project will generate, whether and how this data will be exploited or made accessible for verification and re-use, and how it will be curated and preserved.

Open access to research data
The Open Research Data Pilot has been extended to cover all Horizon 2020 topics for which the submission is opened on 26 July 2016 or later. Projects funded under this topic will therefore by default provide open access to the research data they generate, except if they decide to opt-out under the conditions described in Annex L of the Work Programme. Projects can opt-out at any stage, that is both before and after the grant signature.

Note that the evaluation phase proposals will not be evaluated more favourably because they plan to open or share their data, and will not be penalised for opting out.

Open research data sharing applies to the data needed to validate the results presented in scientific publications. Additionally, projects can choose to make other data available open access and need to describe their approach in a Data Management Plan.

Projects need to create a Data Management Plan (DMP), except if they opt-out of making their research data open access. A first version of the DMP must be provided as an early deliverable within six months of the project and should be updated during the project as appropriate. The Commission already provides guidance documents, including a template for DMPs. See the Online Manual.

Eligibility of costs: costs related to data management and data sharing are eligible for reimbursement during the project duration.

The legal requirements for projects participating in this pilot are in the article 29.3 of the Model Grant Agreement.


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