PRACE and Grand Équipement National de Calcul Intensif, France

Born in 1959, Catherine RIVIERE is graduated from ENSIMAG, Ecole Nationale Superieure d'Informatique et de Mathematiques Appliquees of Grenoble in 1983. In 1983, she joined the French Institute of Petroleum (IFP) located at Rueil Malmaison. In 1996, she was appointed as Deputy Manager of the Exploration Production Business Unit. In 2001, she joined as CEO Tech'Advantage, a service company and a subsidiary of IFP. Currently and since 2007, she holds a position of CEO of GENCI (Grand Equipement National de Calcul Intensif) in charge of the coordination of the national academic high performance computing facilities. In June, 2012, Catherine RIVIERE was appointed as Council Chair of PRACE Aisbl (Partnership for Advanced Computing in Europe) which links 25 countries, and in which France is represented by GENCI.

High Performance Computing: a tool to improve competitiveness

In Science and Industry, the development of numerical simulation, which allows to virtually reproduce complex phenomena, has led to design supercomputers. Nowadays, the most powerful machines can perform trillions of operations per second... High Performance Computing (HPC) represents now a crucial technology to a growing range of academic and industrial fields: Environment and Climate, Automotive, Aeronautics and Space, Chemistry, Medicine, Materials Science, Energy, Multimedia... In consequence, a policy in HPC is strategic in science, industry and also for public policy. Caught in a competitive race - the USA and Asia applying pressure from opposite sides of the globe - in 2010, twenty European partners responsively initiated PRACE, the "Partnership for Advanced Computing in Europe", acknowledging that no EU country could independently compete and cooperate on equal level with the United States and Asia. At political level - national and European - policies have been adopted in order to enter this race, and to use HPC as a tool for fostering Competitiveness. PRACE is now a key component of the European Commission policy for HPC, based on three pillars: infrastructure (PRACE), Technology and Applications.

This presentation will focus on PRACE's achievements since 2010, and present the future challenges ahead of us.