CloudSME to offer Cloud-based simulation platform for European engineering and manufacturing SMEs

5 Jan 2015 London - Primeur Magazinehad the opportunity to interview Tamas Kiss from the University of Westminster in London, UK. Tamas Kiss is the coordinator of the CloudSME project that is bringing Cloud HPC technology to SMEs. CloudSME creates a Cloud-based simulation platform for the European engineering and manufacturing SMEs. The platform allows to use simulation solutions in a much more effective way. CloudSME helps the enterprises to access technologies that they are not able to access at the moment.

The project started about a year ago and the team has already tangible results to be proud of. For example, one of the end users SMEs, Podoactiva in Spain, has a Cloud-based simulation solution in order to simulate the design process of tailored insoles into shoes. Podoactiva has a new scanning solution, allowing pediatrists all around Europe to scan the patients' feet and then upload these scans directly into a Cloud computing platform for validation. This solution will allow the company to extend its business very significantly.

Another of the implemented case studies is about fluid dynamic simulation. In this case, Ascomp, a Swiss SME, for their own TransAT software, is using Cloud computing resources instead of their previously used HPC cluster. Using Cloud computing resources allows the company to utilize much more computing facility on demand than compared to their traditional HPC cluster.

When you consider manufacturing and engineering you can see that many large companies are using simulation for decades already. Parts of this simulation software cost a lot of money. The licensing costs are very expensive obviously and also the equipment which is required to run the simulation costs a lot of money. Many companies, especially smaller companies, haven't got the expertise in order to create and maintain either the software or hardware which is required to run the simulation applications.

Cloud computing can very significantly help in this. Using Cloud computing resources, the CloudSME partners can create Software-as-a-Service solutions which can directly be used by end user SMEs in order to improve their productivity.

The CloudSME project builds a platform based on already existing technologies. These technologies were developed in previous European projects, such as the CloudBroker platform and the WS-PGRADE technology. Using these specific technologies, the partners can build a Cloud simulation platform where software vendors can use the platform as a Platform-as-a-Service. They can build new simulation applications on top of the platform. After that, their end user SMEs can directly use the platform in a Software-as-a-Service fashion.

The CloudSME project is a very industry-oriented project. At the moment, it has sixteen project partners. Twelve of them are SMEs from all around Europe. In the second year of the project, the partners are running an Open Call. As a result of that Open Call, the project is going to recruit approximately ten to thirteen new companies that are going to prototype their applications on the CloudSME platform.

Altogether the consortium will consist of approximately thirty entities. Most of them (26) will be SMEs and companies from different parts of Europe.

The CloudSME project is halfway through its operation at the moment. It started in July 2013 and the project is going to finish at the end of 2015. It has already implemented a number of use cases which were involved at the very beginning of the project. During the last year of the project operation the partners are going to concentrate on new use cases which will be brought in as part of the Open Call. The partners are currently in the process of evaluating these proposals. Soon, the successful participants will be notified and the partners will start working with them in the course of 2015.

If you like to learn more about the project you can visit the CloudSME website.
Ad Emmen