The European CloudFlow project is about making HPC-based simulation and modelling services more accessible and more affordable, especially to small and medium sized enterprises from the manufacturing and engineering industries.
CloudFlow is conducting several waves of experiments. The team is trying to work out the benefits of Cloud-based simulation services for SMEs. One example is the company Stellba Hydro, an expert in water turbine design. They want to make the process faster with reduced force, leveraging HPC performance to run more complicated simulations, to involve more deep physical effects, and to go for higher spatial and temporal resolution in terms of transit simulations, etc.
The project also has four European ISVs -independent software vendors, also small and medium sized, in the consortium. They are performing different kinds of experiments, together with Stellba Hydro, and they bring their software tools to the Cloud. The experiments are in the area of CAD, computational fluid dynamics, computer-aided manufacturing, system simulation, product life cycle management and quality assurance.
For each of these experiments, the project team has analyzed the engineering work flow at Stellba and the partners do not only support the different engineering elements in the work flow but bring these different stages together in order to work towards supporting the heterogeneity and interoperability of data and services in the work flow in the Cloud.
So far, the experiment designs are very promising from the end users' point of view. They expect to reduce the costs in the development stages, they expect to run simulations they have not been able to run so far by leveraging HPC resources from the project's SME HPC provider, a company named Arctur from Slovenia.
In addition to these commercial partners, the project also has institutions involved, namely the Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Künstliche Intelligenz (DFKI) and Fraunhofer, working on the Cloud for infrastructure, making it an open and extensible platform, supporting engineering work flows and facilitating the access to HPC simulations services and make them more affordable and usable. This is key from the end users' point of view.
One of the interesting aspects for people who are not already in the consortium is the Open Calls scheme. Typical, in comparison to other European projects, CloudFlow runs two waves of Open Calls. The project is asking for 7 new experiments in each of these waves. Small consortia consisting of 1 to four partners can suggest new experiments that will be supported and co-funded from this European project to expand the offer of CloudFlow towards supporting more software solutions coming from European SMEs but also especially involving more end users from different branches and different manufacturing areas.
The first Open Call is already closed. The second Open Call will be open mid 2015 and closing end of September 2015. CloudFlow is looking forward to receive input, feedback and proposals for the Open Call.
More information on the CloudFlow project is available at http://eu-cloudflow.eu .