This is a guest blog post written by Prof. Mark Parsons, Director of EPCC, Project Coordinator Fortissimo, The University of Edinburgh
Fortissimo (part of the I4MS initiative of the European Commission) is an EC-funded project that enables small and medium sized companies (SMEs) across Europe to access high-performance computing (HPC). Many SMEs rely on modelling and simulation for their business and could benefit from access to HPC. However, the cost of owning and maintaining an HPC system to perform simulations is simply not affordable for most, if not all, SMEs. Fortissimo not only allows these companies to access HPC resources, but also links them to the HPC and simulation experts who can help them get the best out of such systems.
As computers become more powerful, the benefits they can offer within both the academic and business sectors become more apparent. It is clear that the ability to perform advanced simulations will become more and more important. Therefore businesses, which otherwise could not afford to run advanced simulations, should be given the necessary tools and access.
Fortissimo started in 2013. Since then, it has helped over fifty SMEs from across Europe to improve their business, increase their efficiency, and save money. This allows them to be more competitive within an increasingly competitive global marketplace.
At the Hannover Messe, visitors will be able to see the One:1, the world’s first production ‘megacar’. This car has been designed and built by Koenigsegg, which has benefited greatly from its involvement with Fortissimo. The company is a Swedish-based designer and manufacturer of high-performance ‘supercars’. The design of such cars depends on the accurate prediction of air flow. For a company like Koenigsegg, this means either using advanced simulations or extensive wind tunnel tests, both of which would normally be prohibitively expensive. However, by partnering with Fortissimo, Koenigsegg was able to access the ICON Cloud-based HPC service, for a fraction of the cost of running their own system in-house. Using HPC allowed Koenigsegg to avoid wind tunnel testing altogether in the development of their new ‘megacar’, the One:1. Using Fortissimo’s services contributed not only to a reduction in Koenigsegg’s costs, but also allowed the car to be brought to market quicker than expected through a 30% reduction in time-to-market compared with previous cars.
Koenigsegg is just one of the many success stories. For Koenigsegg and other enterprises the ability to access Fortissimo’s services has resulted in major, significant improvements. Companies are able to reduce their costs whilst at the same time improve the quality of their business offerings through greater accuracy and fidelity of their simulations.
Fortissimo is looking to the future with great enthusiasm. The second phase of the project is just beginning and will allow many more SMEs to participate whilst developing the approach taken in the original project. In Fortissimo 2 the goal is not only to work with individual SMEs, but also to develop the infrastructure that will allow a service to be provided for years to come. The development of the Fortissimo Marketplace started during the original Fortissimo project. Its function as a “one-stop pay-per-use shop” will be further developed in Fortissimo 2 in response to the requirements gathered from the SMEs engaged in both projects.
Check out the information given on the webpage concerning the open call for Fortissimo experiments and contact the project via firstname.lastname@example.org for further information. The submission deadline for proposals is May 18th. Don’t miss this great opportunity to increase your competitiveness in the marketplace by taking advantage of HPC-cloud services for advanced simulation!