IT4Innovations supercomputing centre boosts industry and research

A national supercomputing centre in the Moravian-Silesian Region is strengthening the Czech Republic’s capacity for computer-based research along with its industrial competitiveness.  Opened in 2011, the IT4Innovations National Supercomputing Center  provides high-performance computing and data analysis for scientists and industry. The first of its kind in the Czech Republic, the centre includes one of the most powerful supercomputers in Europe . Services are improving industry, people’s quality of life and scientific collaboration.

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Salomon supercomputer © IT4Innovations Salomon supercomputer © IT4Innovations

" Nowadays, research cannot be conducted without sophisticated calculations and simulations. This supercomputer is a key to innovation and a successful future. "

Prof. Ing. Ivo Vondrák, CSc., Governor of the Moravian-Silesian Region

Five research institutes, led by VSB – Technical University of Ostrava, provide technology and expertise for the centre. Research focuses on supercomputing and embedded systems.  Such systems can enhance industrial design, advance medical technology, predict natural hazards, and more.  

IT4Innovations is now the Czech national centre for computer-based research and national coordinator of research in IT and computing.  Its research, along with investment for supporting infrastructure, has contributed to economic development in the Moravian-Silesian and South Moravia regions.  

Access to resources

Work is divided into eight programmes, each targeting specific scientific and end-use priorities. These develop models and innovations that improve everyday lives.  For example the centre provides continuous traffic information for Czech national TV broadcasting and online, along with support for a new navigation system. Other processing contributes to the PAMMOTH project, which is developing more accurate breast imaging technology that does not involve radiation. 

Academic institutions and companies can use the centre to solve research and development problems. Computing time is allocated through three competitions a year and at the centre’s discretion, with some capacity earmarked for industry alone.

At a European level, the centre helps Czech entities obtain computing time in other European supercomputing centres through the Partnership for Advanced Computing in Europe (PRACE).  IT4Innovations also takes part in the European Technology Platform for High Performance Computing (ETP4HPC), helping to define research priorities for supercomputing in Europe.

Timeline to results

Previously, IT research expertise was scattered around the Czech Republic. The five-partner consortium developed the centre to share resources, ideas and best practices to accelerate research.

The first IT4Innovations supercomputer, Anselm, started operating in May 2013. The second, Salomon, became operational in June 2015 and was still one of the world’s 150  most powerful supercomputers three years later. Both are housed at the campus of VSB – Technical University of Ostrava in a dedicated building opened in September 2014

Since IT4Innovations was established, it has supported 580 researchers in over 260 projects. One in seven of these projects are collaborations with industry. In addition, it has helped to create over 260 new highly-skilled jobs.

Scientifically, the centre has produced more than 2 000 publications, along with more than 180 results that could be useful to other scientists or to industry.

Total investment and EU funding 

Total investment for the project “Centre of Excellence IT4Innovations” is EUR 76 960 837 , with the EU’s European Regional Development Fund contributing EUR 46 321 416  through the “Research and Development for Innovations” Operational Programme for the 2007-2013 programming period.

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