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Advanced Computing Resources for Research and Innovation

Call for Advanced Computing Projects: Artificial Intelligence in the Cloud (1st edition)

Latest News

17.05.2022 - New closing date for the submission of Applications for the Call Advanced Computing Projects: Artificial Intelligence in the Cloud until 30 May 2022, 12h00 (midday).

23.03.2022 – Opening of the Call for Advanced Computing Projects: Artificial Intelligence in Cloud from 30 March 2022 until 18 May 2022.

General view and objectives

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

The FCT has the task of managing advanced computing resources available on the network and promoting their accessibility to the different entities of the Educational System and the National Scientific and Technological System, regardless of their public or private nature.

As part of its growing effort to support research excellence in Portuguese academia, Google provided FCT with credits on the Google Cloud Platform (GCP) worth 1M USD (one million US dollars).

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. Thus, FCT is launching the present Call for Advanced Computing Projects to support research and development projects in the preferred areas of "Natural Language Understanding" and "Ethics Artificial Intelligence" and other scientific areas.

Computational Resources

This call provides resources on the Google Cloud Platform in a total value of USD 1M.

Access Typologies

The present call includes the following access typologies:

  • Fixed Access is characterised by:
    • credits on the Google Cloud Platform of USD 25.000
    • have a maximum duration of 365 days.
    • accept applications in the modality of Institutional Support or Individual Support (under the terms of article 4 of regulation 10/2022).
    • applies the Instrumentless Account modality in the Google platform, without associating a form of payment to that same account.

    In the Google platform Instrumentless Account modality, no form of payment is associated in the Google account, such as, for example, a credit card number. This account type has the following limitations compared to the Billing Ids & Safeguarding type of access: 1) the account is automatically closed when the credits run out and it is not possible to recover data or applications that were stored there after the closure; 2) it is not possible to increase the credits initially defined; 3) it is not possible to change the type of account to another type that is more flexible; 4) it does not have access to GPUs.

    The quota of resources reserved for this type of access is 50% of the total resources of the call.

  • Variable Access is characterised by:
    • credits on Google Cloud Platform up to USD 150.000
    • have a maximum duration of 365 days.
    • accept applications in the Institutional Support modality (under the terms of article 4 of regulation no. 10/2022).
    • applies Billing Ids & Safeguarding account modality on the Google platform, with the association of a payment method under the applicant's responsibility.

    In the Billing Ids & Safeguarding account on the Google platform the candidate associates a payment method to the Google account, such as a credit card number, even if the use of the GPC will not generate payment requests in the context of this competition. The form of payment must be made available by the applicant. FCT does not provide any form of payment to associate with accounts of this type. This type of account is considered the normal case of access to the GCP platform and does not have the limitations of the Instrumentless Account, mentioned above. This type of account allows the configuration of a billing safeguard that consists of the use of credits without charging the credit card used. More information at: https://cloud.google.com/billing/docs/how-to/notify#cap_disable_billing_to_stop_usage.

    The quota of resources reserved for this type of access is 50% of the total resources of the call.

Areas to be supported

The present call intends to support research and development projects that use the GCP offer in artificial intelligence and data analysis algorithms, according to the following maximum quotas:

  • 80% of the resources are reserved for areas of Natural Language Processing (Natural Language Understanding) and Ethics in artificial intelligence (Ethical Artificial Intelligence).
  • 20% of the resources are reserved for the remaining scientific areas with use of the GCP offer in artificial intelligence and data analysis algorithms, or more, if there are not enough applications to fill the quota mentioned in the previous point.

Should the resources requested in the aforementioned areas not exhaust the computational resources available in the call, the remaining part may be allocated to applications in any other areas.

Applicants & Eligibility

The beneficiaries, individually or in co-promotion:

  • The R&D (Research and Development) institutions
  • Collaborative laboratories
  • Technological interface centres
  • Science and technology infrastructures.
  • Science and technology networks and consortia.
  • Private non-profit institutions whose main objective is R&D activities.
  • Digital Innovation Hubs.
  • Other public and private non-profit institutions that develop or participate in research, development, or innovation activities.
  • Companies developing advanced computing projects, in research, development or innovation activities.
  • Individuals working in Portugal and who wish to develop advanced computing projects in any scientific area.

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

  • occur within the scope of per-competitive research and innovation, with no market value yet for the objects addressed in the application
  • not exceed 50% of the total computing budget to be allocated in this call.

Each Responsible Investigator may submit a maximum of ONE application per typology, always subject to resources availability.

How to apply

Applications must be submitted, in English, between 30 March 2022 and 30 May 2022.

Application form for Fixed Access available at: https://rnca.fccn.pt/candidaturas-iac-acesso-fixo/

Application form for Variable Access available at: https://rnca.fccn.pt/candidaturas-iac-acesso-variavel

Important deadlines and dates

Applications must be submitted, in English, between 30 March 2022 and 30 May 2022.

Evaluation Criteria

All applications received will be evaluated according to the following criteria, which are further detailed in the evaluation guide:

  • T1: Technical suitability to the requested resources
  • T2: Computational resources planning, reasonableness, and work plan
  • T3: Existence of a scientific or technological project associated to the advanced computing project application, with independent evaluation of scientific or technical merit, by a competent national or European entity

The evaluation of proposals will be carried out by a panel of external experts according to the defined criteria and applying the following formula:

Final score= 50% x T1 + 40% x T2 + 10% x T3

The external expert panel generates one ordered list of applications per access typology, according to the defined criteria and weightings. The RNCA access committee integrates and distributes the computer resources.

Contacts

Information about the tender may be requested through the email address rnca@fccn.pt

No information published on this page replaces or overlaps with the Regulations and Notice of the Call for Proposals.