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Supercomputer promotes research in several disciplines

LUMI, located at CSC – IT Center for Science´s data center in Kajaani, Finland, is now fully available to researchers. A supercomputer is a key / vital tool for today’s researchers: as more and more data is accumulated in all areas of society, computing power has become a necessity in an increasing number of sectors, such as medicine, energy and climate research, cybersecurity, and AI development. Social sciences and the humanities are also increasingly utilizing computational science methods. Computational power is also required for multidisciplinary research projects that combine large masses of data.

LUMI’s two pilot phases focused on a variety of research topics, such as space weather. One of the pilot users in Finland was a group led by Minna Palmroth, Professor of Computational Space Physics at the University of Helsinki. Her group simulated a Carrington-level solar storm and its impacts on electrical networks and satellites. At the same time, a group led by Assistant Professors Sampo Pyysalo and Filip Ginter from the Department of Computing at the University of Turku developed a highly advanced Finnish language model with the help of machine learning.

– Nearly sixty pilot projects in total were selected from the countries participating in the LUMI consortium. Now LUMI’s world-class computing resources can be applied by all European researchers through various calls for top research, says Pekka Manninen, Director of Science and Technology, CSC.

As a whole, LUMI is a unique European computing and data infrastructure project worth over EUR 200 million and involves 10 European countries and the European Union’s EuroHPC Joint Undertaking, with a broad impact on society.

LUMI also provides an international competitive advantage to companies

With the LUMI supercomputer, CSC has become one of the world’s leading and best-known computing centers. As a result, CSC has now signed several international research collaboration agreements, including ones with Japan and the United States. These agreements will help strengthen the collaboration between Finnish and international scientific communities.

20% of LUMI’s capacity has been reserved for industrial use and development projects, either directly or in collaborative projects between universities and research institutes. Companies can apply for LUMI’s resources through VTT’s research projects, for example. LUMI has opened up completely new avenues for Finnish industrial research and development activities that require advanced levels of high-performance computing.

For example, research and product development related to the green transition often require large amounts of computing and data processing. LUMI offers companies a world-class infrastructure, strengthening Finland’s competitiveness.

A tool for assessing the impacts of climate change

With the help of LUMI, CSC was selected in October 2022 to lead an international project to implement a climate adaptation digital twin. It will serve as a key tool for assessing the impacts of climate change and supporting the decision-making on climate change adaptation in Europe. The project is part of the Destination Earth program of the European Commission and commissioned by the ECMWF, the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts.

– A consortium led by CSC will bring together centers of expertise specializing in climate modeling and services as well as supercomputing from all over Europe. Its aim will be to create a new type of climate modeling system that supports the EU’s climate change adaptation objectives. The models will provide information on the impacts that climate change has on heat waves, forest fires and other extreme weather phenomena, Pekka Manninen explains.

At the forefront of quantum and hybrid computing

The objective of the European Union and the EuroHPC JU is to make Europe the leading continent in high-performance and quantum computing. LUMI has helped enhance the region’s quantum competence at both the domestic and international levels.

In October 2022, the EuroHPC JU selected the host locations of the new European quantum computers. One of the selected projects was LUMI-Q, whose quantum computer will be located in the IT4Innovations National Supercomputing Centre in Ostrava, Czechia, which is also one of the partners of the LUMI consortium. The (LUMI-Q) project’s quantum computer will be connected to several EuroHPC JU supercomputers, including the LUMI supercomputer.

In November 2022, LUMI was connected to VTT’s HELMI quantum computer. This was the first time that a supercomputer and quantum computer were made available together for the use of researchers in Europe.

Combining a supercomputer with a quantum computer is quite unique on a global scale, as it paves the way for a future where the world’s most challenging problems can be addressed using both quantum computing and traditional high-performance computing simultaneously. Finland is at the forefront of this development, and we have the top expertise in both technologies.

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