Research & Innovation - Participant Portal


TOPIC : Pan-European High Performance Computing infrastructure and services (PRACE)

Topic identifier: INFRAEDI-01-2018
Publication date: 27 October 2017

Types of action: RIA Research and Innovation action
Opening date:
05 December 2017
Deadline: 22 March 2018 17:00:00

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

To create a world-class pan-European High Performance Computing (HPC) infrastructure and to provide state-of-the-art services accessible by users independently of their location, by pooling, integrating and rationalising the HPC resources at EU level.


Proposals should address all the following activities:

  • Provide a seamless and efficient Europe-wide Tier-0[1] service to users, based on promoting research excellence and innovation; this includes peer-review procedures for the allocation of computing time; transparent billing; and specific services adapted to the needs of academia and industry users, including Centres of Excellence on HPC;
  • Support software implementations (i.e. through high level support teams), helping Tier-0 users and communities in adapting and adopting novel software solutions to cope with the rapidly evolving HPC architectural and programming environment landscape;
  • Collaborate with Centres of Excellence on HPC and other national and EU funded activities that focus on similar or complementary activities for HPC codes and applications;
  • Identify and support new user needs and ensure openness to new user communities and new applications; reach out to scientific and industrial communities, promoting industrial take-up of HPC services in particular by SMEs;
  • Carry out activities (such as service prototyping, software development, etc.) that build on national HPC capabilities (Tier-1) and are necessary to support Tier-0 services and a functional European HPC ecosystem;
  • Run training and skills development programmes tailored to the research needs of academia and industry and relevant public services and transfer of know-how for the use of HPC; Coordinate at European level such programmes in cooperation with the Centres of Excellence on HPC;
  • Implement inclusive and equitable governance and a flexible business model to ensure long term financial sustainability;
  • Support the development of the strategy for the deployment of a rich HPC environment of world-class systems with different machine architectures - evolving towards exascale -, including the implementation roadmap at EU and national level, in particular in the context of EuroHPC;
  • Coordinate activities with the European Technology Platform for HPC (ETP4HPC) and the Centres of Excellence in HPC applications in support of the European HPC strategy towards the next generation of computing systems, technologies and applications. In particular, the mechanisms to be put in place by PRACE for the provision of technical specifications to guide research activities for future exascale prototypes and systems and for the testing and demonstration of such exascale solutions;
  • Develop an international cooperation policy and associated activities in the area of HPC.

The PRACE infrastructure should provide core and basic services in coordination with other e-infrastructure providers to promote interoperability and a seamless user experience. Interworking with other computing infrastructures such as clouds and grids should be ensured. Appropriate KPIs should be provided addressing all the above activities and allowing the assessment of the progress towards the objectives, both in terms of outputs and ultimate impact.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 22 and 24 million would allow this this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts or duration.

Expected Impact:

  • Improved services and procedures for large user access, fostering openness to new users and applications, to world-class HPC infrastructure resources and services.
  • Increased amount of computing cycles available to researchers at European level through user-friendly and efficient procedures for helping Europe staying at the forefront of scientific breakthroughs and innovation.
  • Increased number of research communities, industrial organisations (in particular SMEs), and institutional users benefiting from access to services including training in HPC.
  • Increased investment in HPC infrastructure in Europe (national, regional and EU), long term financial sustainability through flexible business models and inclusive governance, better coordination between demand and supply in the European HPC ecosystem, with improved collaboration of the users and procurers with technology developers and suppliers to foster innovation.
Cross-cutting Priorities:

Socio-economic science and humanities
Open Science

[1]Tier-0 are those services provided at pan-European level with machines devoted to the pan-European infrastructure for a significant fraction of cycles (to be agreed with the Commission) and having a minimum performance level to be periodically defined by the consortium.

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

6. Additional provisions:

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

Members of consortium are required to conclude a consortium agreement, in principle prior to the signature of the grant agreement.

8. Additional documents:

1. Introduction WP 2018-20
4. Research infrastructures (including e-Infrastructures) WP 2018-20
18. 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.


Additional documents

  • Call results en

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