27 Jul 2015 Frankfurt - At ISC 2015 in Frankfurt, Germany,Primeur Magazinetalked with Karen Padmore from HPC Wales and with Tomás Karásek from IT4Innovations, one of the network and supercomputing centres, about the new SESAME Net project. HPC Wales is the coordinator of SESAME Net. IT4Innovations is one of the partners in the SESAME Net project.
The reason why HPC Wales is able to lead the project is because it was funded through structured funds by the Welsh Government and the universities in Wales for trying to deliver services and to build its competences with SMEs. This is a real opportunity to work on the European scale to share the knowledge and expertise of HPC Wales with others and to share their expertise too.
SESAME Net is a network project funded under Horizon 2020 to set up a network of HPC competency centres focused on industry, particularly SMEs.
Primeur Magazine: So it is not a competence centre itself but a network of all the compentence centres in Europe?
Indeed, explained Karen Padmore. SESAME Net has partners from 15 member states, including Fraunhofer, PRACE members, members from national centres and also regional centres that have been set up specifically to develop the compentencies of SMEs and the usage of HPC by SMEs.
Primeur Magazine: What exactly is the goal of the network?
The goal is to expand the market. The impact the partners are looking to have is to have that take-up by SMEs to improve their own competencies and being able to apply the technology to improve the competitiveness of the SMEs in the global market.
Primeur Magazine: So, the overall goal is to take care that there is more HPC used by SMEs?
Yes, one level is that the partners are actually looking to improve the training, the competencies of the people, both in the universities and the SMEs that can then actually apply the technology as well as look for best practice case studies and to be able to demonstrate how and where the project aims to add value for SMEs.
Primeur Magazine: You are coordinating local centres and one of these local centres is the one Tomás is coming from?
Tomás Karásek comes from the Czech Supercomputing Center that is the biggest provider of HPC facilities in the country. They joined the SESAME Net project because their mission is to help the SMEs to reach to HPC. Basically, the biggest problem is that they need experiences from the other countries and they need the network of the other HPC centres to help the SMEs in the Czech Republic and the other SMEs in Europe as well in order to go to the next level.
Primeur Magazine: The SMEs that you are supporting are local?
For now they are local SMEs, Tomás Karásek explained, but the idea is that they have some knowledge, some experience, some skill set and another centre has a little different skill set and combining these together, the partners can help SMEs in Ireland and the Irisch centre can help the SMEs in the Czech Republic because they have the specific knowledge which is missing.
Primeur Magazine: Does a Dutch SME has to go to the local competence centre?
Tomás Karásek replied that this SME can go to the SESAME Net or to the local contact and the SESAME Net partners will contact this SME and discuss the SME's needs and find a solution for this particular SME.
Karen Padmore added that it is about accessing HPC facilities wherever they are in Europe but the key is that SESAME Net are the partners in the project to set up the network. The success is the network and also the associated partners and other organisations that can be drawn in. So, it may well be the local HPC centre in the Netherlands will actually be part of the network. It is about having somewhere to go to find out where your local access point might be, where the materials are, and where you can find out how to discover the best to get the most from it.
Primeur Magazine: What kind of activities will you do with the network?
The key will be to collect best practices. There have been many projects funded in HPC. There has been talked about it for a long time. How does SESAME Net take them actually out of these silos and present them as a single point and also looking at training materials. How can the partners best promote the use and allow people to acquire the skills to use the technology.
The partners are involved in lots of workshops. They are looking to find how they can get involved in events such as the next ISC, SC, and other events. The partners will also be organizing their own events.