BSC and IBM sign education and research agreement

13 Jun 2023 | Network Updates | Update from Barcelona Supercomputing Center
These updates are republished press releases and communications from members of the Science|Business Network

  • The agreement has been signed at the first ever RISC-V Summit Europe, held in Barcelona and hosted by the Barcelona Supercomputing Center
  • As part of this agreement, IBM will provide 3 million Euros in Scholarships for Education and Research activities during 5 years.
  • The agreement will focus on computing systems, user and client applications, open architectures and standards, and education development.

At the RISC-V Summit Europe in Barcelona, IBM (NYSE: IBM) and Barcelona Supercomputing Center – Centro Nacional de Supercomputación (BSC-CNS), the national supercomputing centre in Spain and International Centre of Excellence in e-Science, announced they are expanding their long-term research and technology partnership by collaborating to develop the “Future of Computing”, a BSC and IBM initiative. This initiative reinforces IBM bet to develop European technology and supports the EU technology sovereignty strategy.

Under this partnership agreement, IBM and BSC scientists and engineers will collaborate to conduct basic research in support of the “Future of Computing” vision, valuable to future technologies and IBM products, solutions and services. At the same time, this initiative aims to develop local talent and research projects to create and expand European technologies such as new and more efficient and energy sustainable processors with European technology that will support chip shortages mitigation and the European Technology sovereignty. This new processor will be initially used for HPC (High Performing Computing) loads but the initiative aims to expand its use to all kind of business loads.

Since its establishment in 2005, BSC has developed an active role in promoting research, implementation, management and transfer of technology and knowledge in the area of HPC in Spain and Europe as an essential tool for international competitiveness in science and engineering with the aim of facilitating progress in a variety of scientific fields, and with a special emphasis on Computer, Life, Earth and Engineering Sciences. BSC also manages the Red Española de Supercomputación (RES) and is a hosting member of the Partnership for Advanced Computing in Europe (PRACE) initiative.

"There is an old saying: "If you want to go fast, go alone; but if you want to go far, go together." We expect our partnership with BSC will lead to scientific breakthroughs, acceleration of the adoption of computing for the coming era, and active engagement into the critical societal challenges of humanity. I believe that today, more than ever, we need innovation to meet the demands of many of the major challenges of our time — from models to create sustainable growth, to addressing future pandemics and climate change, to enabling energy and food security. We also aim to contribute to the realization of a better future society by nurturing diverse talents" said Horacio Morell, President, IBM Spain, Portugal, Greece and Israel.

"The BSC has worked alongside IBM throughout the 25 years that have passed since the creation of the CEPBA-IBM research centre at the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC), always with a firm commitment to making progress in the great challenges that we face as a society, such as climate change, the generation of new energy sources or the emergence of epidemics that directly affect people. The solutions to these problems require science, and science increasingly requires large infrastructures, such as the MareNostrum supercomputer, without which scientific and technological progress is inconceivable today," said Mateo Valero, Director of BSC.

With this new partnership agreement, IBM continues to make advances in research and development towards building next-generation systems that will realize the Future of Computing vision. BSC has accumulated significant expertise and experience in developing software technologies, optimization of applications and operation of high-performance systems.

The agreement has been signed in the context of the first ever RISC-V Summit Europe, a benchmark event in open-source hardware development, which this year brings together developers, architects, executives and policy makers from across the global RISC-V ecosystem, under the organization of the BSC in Barcelona.

Strong 18-year relationship between IBM and BSC

The world needs science like never before: To address the global chip shortage, mitigate global warming, discover new materials faster — all of these benefit from accelerating the pace of scientific discovery. We also need to collaborate with talented people, finding solutions together across borders and time zones.

The “Future of Computing” initiative, that will be co-chaired by Horacio Morell, General Manager IBM Spain, Portugal, Greece and Israel, and Mateo Valero, BSC Director, builds on a strong 18-year relationship between IBM and BSC on technology development and knowledge exchange and collaboration. The Initiative will serve to foster the exchange of ideas, not just for the members of the two institutions, but for the research and industry community in the region.

This new research and technology partnership agreement reinforces IBM bet on developing European technology and research initiatives, support EU strategy on Data and Technology sovereignty and expand its ecosystem of partners to keep accelerating scientific discovery and catalyze economic growth.

This collaboration agreement comes at a key moment for the BSC, in a year in which it inaugurates the fifth version of MareNostrum, which will become one of the most powerful supercomputers in Europe and around the world.

This partnership with IBM shows the BSC's determination to advance and consolidate itself as one of the leading centres committed to developing European hardware to be used in future generations of supercomputers and helping to achieve technological sovereignty for the EU’s member states.

Future of Education

IBM and BSC also believe in the key importance of preparing students with the advanced skills and knowledge for necessary competitiveness in our industry. According to several recent surveys in the EU, there is a risk of shortage on technical personnel with suitable capabilities, and this collaboration is an opportunity to accelerate knowledge and experience in the region.

As part of this agreement, IBM will provide 3 million Euros (600.000€ per year) in Scholarships related with education or research activities performed by PhD students and BSC researchers during the 5 years of this partnership agreement.

This article was first published on 9 June by Barcelona Supercomputing Center.

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