How are you different?
As well as being a world-class supercomputing facility, providing high-performance computing (HPC) services to scientists across Europe, Barcelona Supercomputing Center (BSC) is also a thriving research centre. We investigate how to build, programme and use the supercomputers of the future, while at the same time creating and using supercomputing technologies for research in a range of scientific disciplines, notably earth sciences, life sciences and engineering. Oh, and our supercomputer lives in a chapel.
Why will you do well?
Supercomputing has become a fundamental tool to generate knowledge and accelerate innovation. The key to our success lies in our status as a centre which lives and breathes supercomputing in all its aspects, from developing new HPC technologies to using them. This gives us a holistic view of the world of high-performance computing and makes us a unique partner for all kinds of research projects within this field, whether their aim is to explore HPC or to use HPC as an instrument to advance other knowledge or innovation areas.
Our research portfolio covers the whole computing stack, from architecture to applications, and we’ve developed some award-winning simulations – have a look at The Virtual Human, which was showcased at the Science Museum in London recently.
— BSC-CNS (@BSC_CNS) December 29, 2017
Where are you based?
The beautiful city of Barcelona, Spain. The name given to our main supercomputer, MareNostrum, is what the Romans called the Mediterranean Sea.
When was the company launched?
BSC was formally established in 2005.
What have been your biggest wins to date?
Our main achievement is to have grown from 50 to more than 500 people in 10 years, thanks to the trust placed in us to carry out research. We currently participate in more than 150 research projects, most of them financed by the European Commission and private enterprise.
One of our strongest areas of research is that relating to computer science, but we are also very proud of playing a major role, both nationally and internationally, in genomics-based research or research on air quality and climate change, for example.
Who are you trying to attract to your product?
We have ongoing research partnerships with some of the biggest players in the IT industry, including IBM, Intel, NVIDIA, Lenovo, Fujitsu, Cisco and Micron, as well as with other industry sectors such as energy or finance.
Having been around for over 10 years now, we’ve reached a level of maturity which allows us to provide technology for a wide range of industry applications, from software in the healthcare sector to simulation codes for more traditional industry representatives. We also offer tailored services for public bodies and private enterprise, from smart-city solutions to the aeronautic sector. Indeed, transforming our research advances into social benefits is one of our priorities.
Tell us about your team?
We have around 500 staff divided into different departments: computer sciences, computer applications for science and engineering, life sciences, earth sciences, operations and support staff. Our researchers have been recognised with a whole host of international awards; our director Mateo Valero has a string of them, including the Eckert-Mauchly award (the most prestigious award in computer architecture), the Seymour Cray award – or ‘Nobel Prize’ for supercomputing – which he was the first European to win, and the ACM Distinguished Service Award. Recently, BSC Computer Science Director Jesús Labarta became the first non-American to win the ACM/IEEE Computer Society Ken Kennedy Award. And the list goes on…
What are your plans for the future?
We’re working hard to maintain our position at the forefront of supercomputing services and research, but we’re not afraid of taking on increasingly big challenges. One area we’re working on at the moment is integrating personalised medicine into the public health system, with the involvement of the biomedical sector, health centres, governments and technology companies. We also work to make European technologies a reality, from a European HPC processor to supercomputers built with technologies developed in the EU. Another of our major challenges is introducing artificial intelligence to HPC-related fields.
How do people get in touch with you?