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Advanced Computing Resources for Research and Innovation

Call for Advanced Computing Projects - 2nd edition

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14.09.2021 - The 2nd Edition of the Call for Advanced Computing Projects received a total of 58 applications of typology A2 – Acesso Projeto. Under this AAC, the deadline for submitting applications continues to run for the remaining types A0 – Acesso Experimental and A1 – Acesso Preparatório. See the support documentation in the sidebar and access the application form here.

13.07.2021 - Opening for submissions on A2 – Access to the Project from the 19th of July to the 13th of September 2021.

13.07.2021 - Opening for Submissions on A1 – Preparatory Access and A0 – Experimental Access July 19, 2021 to April 28, 2022.

Support Documents:

Where to Apply

Important Dates:

  • A0 – Experimental Access and A1 – Preparatory Access
    from July 19th 2021(12h00, Lisbon time) until April 28th 2022 (12h00, Lisbon time)
  • A2 – Project Access
    from July 19th 2021 (12h00, Lisbon time) until April 28th 2022 (12h00, Lisbon time)

General view and objectives

The consolidation and strengthening of the National Scientific and Technological System (SCTN) are priorities of the science and technology policy made in Portugal. These priorities aim to contribute to the national and international competitiveness of science and technology, and its contribution to innovation and knowledge transfer, as well as to contribute to the achievement of global aspirations set out in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (ODSs). In this context, it is particularly important to promote and strengthen the skills of scientific and technological institutions through their participation in advanced computing projects.

It is with these objectives that FCT opens this Call for Advanced Computing Projects (CPCA) to technologically support advanced computing projects in all scientific domains.

FCT manages the National Network for Advanced Computing (RNCA) seeking to aggregate national advanced computing resources, promoting cooperation between the various centres involved and developing national and international partnerships with other entities.

RNCA was integrated in the National Roadmap of Research Infrastructures of Strategic Interest by Order No. 4157/2019, from the Minister of Science, Technology and Higher Education.

Computational models and Types of Access

The following computational models are available to applicants:

  • High Performance computing (HPC)
  • Scientific Cloud Computing.

Check Call Notice for further details - supporting documentation in the sidebar.

The present call includes the following access types:

  • A0 – Experimental Access: This type of access is recommended for scientific or innovation projects whose work team has no previous experience in HPC or Cloud or that has no history of using RNCA's computational resources. This access is not primarily intended for carrying out projects, it is only intended for experimentation. This type of access has a maximum duration of 6 months, renewable, in duly justified and approved cases. The maximum limit of computational resources to be allocated is 15,000 CPU core.hours or vCPU.hours. The share of resources reserved for this access is 5% per RNCA platform. If the resources for this type of access do not meet the aforementioned quota, the remaining part can be assigned to another type of access.
  • A1 – Preparatory Access : This type of access is recommended for performing software performance tests, scalability tests, benchmarking, re-factoring and short dimension projects. This type of access has a maximum duration of 6 months, renewable, in duly justified and approved cases. The maximum limit of computational resources to be assigned is 100,000 CPU core.hours or vCPU.hours. The share of resources reserved for this access is 25% per platform. If the resources for this access do not fulfill the mentioned quota, the remaining part can be assigned to another type of access.
  • A2 – Project Access : This type of access is intended for the use of HPC resources and/or Scientific Cloud and is recommended for scientific or innovation projects whose work team has previous experience in HPC or Cloud. This type of access has a maximum duration of 12 months, extendable up to an additional 6 months in duly justified and approved cases. The maximum limit of computational resources to be allocated is 3,000,000 CPU core.hours or vCPU.hours. For Scientific Cloud Projects, the maximum resource limits to be assigned to each approved application is 256 GB of RAM, 128 vCPU and 5 TB of disk, or smaller, if the capacity installed in the operational center does not allow reaching the aforementioned maximum limits. In order to prove the adequate scalability of access requests, the operational teams of the platforms integrated in this competition may request that there be prior A0 or A1 access before using A2 type resources. The share of resources reserved for this access is 70% per platform. If the resources for this access do not meet the aforementioned quota, the remaining part can be attributed to other types of access. Applications for this type of access will be subject to scientific evaluation by external evaluation panels invited by FCT, I.P.

This 2nd edition of the Call for Advanced Computing Projects will make available around 36 million CPU core.hours and 100,000 GPU.hours.

Available Computational Resources

RNCA currently incorporates 4 operational centers with the respective platforms that are part of the call resources:

The technical description of the platforms (Hardware and Software) can be found in the technical sheet. The support to be granted under this call is exclusively in the form of allocating time to use advanced computing resources, not granting funding of any other nature, or human resources to develop or support computer applications.

Applicants Eligibility

The beneficiaries, individually or in co-promotion:

  • Higher education institutions, their institutes and R&D (Research and Development) units;
  • State or international laboratories based in Portugal;
  • Private non-profit institutions whose main object is R&D activities;
  • Other non-profit public and private institutions that develop or participate in scientific research activities;
  • Private companies of any nature and under any legal form

Regarding applications from companies as beneficiaries, advanced computing projects must:

  • a) occur within the scope of pre-competitive research and innovation, without market value
  • b) not exceed 50% of the total computational allocation to be allocated in this competition.

Individual or co-promoted candidacies are accepted:

  • to one or two computational models (HPC, Scientific Cloud);
  • to one or more platforms for the same project;
  • in different access typologies (A0, A1, A2) within certain limits

Each IR and co-IR can submit a maximum of ONE application for A2 access type.

Each IR and co-IR may also submit a maximum of ONE application for A0 and A1 access types every 3 months, always subject to the availability of resources in these types.

How to apply

Applications must be submitted, in English, using the electronic forms only.

A0 Experimental and A1 preparatory access types:: Applications must be submitted, in English, from July 19, 2021 (12:00 am Lisbon time) until April 28, 2022 (12:00 am Lisbon time), using the form at: https://rnca.fccn.pt/?page_id=2251

Applications received so far will be subject to technical evaluation and allocation on platforms until the limit of the respective quotas is reached: 5% for A0 accesses and 25% for A1 accesses.

A2 Access Project: Applications must be submitted, in English, from July 19, 2021 (12:00 am Lisbon time) until September 13, 2021 (12:00 am Lisbon time), using the myFCT form in: https://myfct.fct.pt/

At the end of the term, the applications will be subject to technical and scientific evaluation and subsequent allocation to the platforms until the respective quota limit is reached: 70% for A2 accesses.

Important deadlines and dates

Applications must be submitted from the 19th of July 2021.

Evaluation Criteria

Pursuant to Articles 14 and 15 of the Advanced Computing Projects Regulation, all applications received will be evaluated, according to the following criteria, which are densified and detailed and have their final formula in the evaluation guide:

A1 A2
Technical Evaluation T1 - Technical fitting to RNCA resources architecture (30%)
T2 - Computational resources reasonability and capacity planning (50%)
T3 - Work plan (20%)
T1 - Technical fitting to RNCA resources architecture (10%)
T2 - Computational resources reasonability and capacity planning (20%)
T3 - Work plan (10%)
Avaliação Científica N/A S1 - Relevance of the global scientific project that includes the activity proposal (Scientific merit 50% and Innovative nature 50%) (20%)
S2 - Justification for the proposed advanced computing activity to support the global scientific project (25%)
S3 - Scientific credentials of the applicant research group (Scientific merit of the Responsible Investigator 50% and Research Team 50%) (5%)
S4 - Experience and training in advanced computing* (10%)
  • * in cases of justified and proven lack of experience where S4<5 points, the score of criteria S1, S2 and S3 will be awarded a 10% bonus.
  • For A0 Experimental Access, a summary technical validation will be performed, simplifying the criteria T1, T2 and T3; and requests are served by order of submission until the quota defined for these accesses is exhausted (5%).

Contacts

Information about applications can be requested through the email address: rnca@fccn.pt

No information published on this page replaces or supersedes the Regulation and the Call Notice.