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About the project

SME/HPC is a tailor-made high-performance computing (HPC) education programme for SMEs. HPC allows for big data to be processed with unprecedented efficiency. This emerging technology is a game-changer for both academia and businesses. While most advanced HPC infrastructures and knowledge are located at HEIs and research institutions, enterprises, especially SMEs, have little or no access or competences to use it, in spite of remote access. In fact few SMEs are aware of the potential of how HPC can drive enterprises’ competitive advantage and enhance the levels of innovation capacities, capabilities and practices of SMEs. This leads to both the under- utilisation of existing expensive infrastructure and the less-than-optimal solving of real-life socio-economic issues. Furthermore, in less developed regions the lack of competences to embrace new technologies, like HPC, leads to a range of adverse conditions such as lower levels of innovation, few patents, low value-add and major brain- drain, which further increases the economic gap and digital divide between European regions.

SME/HPC takes a pioneering step towards improving the awareness about the innovative potential of HPC by SMEs by co-designing tailor-made courses delivering a coherent set of competences required for the application of HPC in SME and micro-enterprise contexts. SME/HPC begins with a strategic dialogue yielding an assessment of the required HPC competences, continues with the development of innovative strategies for raising HPC awareness and building HPC skills, and finishes with testing the new educational material with HEIs and enterprises. Three semi-peripheral regions will pilot the SME/HPC methodologies of HEI-Business engagement and the HPC education material.

The key beneficiaries of SME/HPC are enterprises, with a particular focus on SMEs, acquiring both HPC competences and access to hard infrastructure. Furthermore, the positive experience and increased collaborative and cooperative engagement between HEIs and businesses will inspire future co-designing and co-implementation of innovative socio-economic solutions.

Our aimes and objectives

The overall aims of SME/HPC are:

  • to enhance the levels of innovation capacities and capabilities of SMEs in peripheral regions by co-designing high-performance computing (HPC) awareness and education programmes for SME staff and owner/managers

  • to increase the levels of innovation, adaptability, relevance and responsiveness of HEIs to the needs of enterprises, to be able to deliver much more specialised and tailor- made courses.

In order to achieve these aims, SME/HPC sets the following objectives:

  • gain an in depth understanding of methodologies to bridge the persistent gap between HEIs and users of knowledge in the business sector,

  • promote contacts between HEIs and enterprises both within the pilot regions as well as transnational links between all the regions participating in SME/HPC,

  • support the access to the increasingly important yet expensive HPC technology,

  • develop short tailor-made education programmes that improve HEIs’ relevance and responsiveness to stakeholders,

  • upgrade the competences and skills of HEI staff, also to increase their entrepreneurial spirit, capability and capacity to solve business-related problems with application of scientific expertise.

Long-term results

Major ongoing long-term benefits of the HEI will be: better utilisation of their HPC infrastructure (hardware and staff); teaching, marketing, dissemination and adjustment of their educational products, adjustable to the needs of other regions and to future demands of the HPC. Experience obtained through this collaboration will act as a seed for new cooperation and collaboration opportunities between the consortium HEIs and business.

In the long-term the enterprises will benefit by (i) gaining appreciation of the role of HPC will increase their visibility with enterprises in SME/HPC regions; (ii) being better positioned to take advantage of future co-solution generation and co-designing initiatives; (iii) increasing their cooperation, collaboration, dialogue, and trust with forward thinking, innovative HEIs, and (iv) improving their innovate capacities and capabilities though the SME/HPC project.

Project Work Packages

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