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null Open Call for Expressions of Interest: Finland - Japan coordinated research collaboration

Open Call for Expressions of Interest: Finland - Japan coordinated research collaboration

CSC – IT Center for Science calls for expressions of interest towards coordinated research collaboration projects in the area of High-Performance Computing (HPC) applications between Finland and Japan.

Finland has made significant investments in globally competitive research infrastructures such as LUMI infrastructure, located in CSC’s data center in Kajaani and hosted by the LUMI consortium. The objective of the call is to foster international scientific collaboration opportunities of Finnish research teams and research flagships by enabling the use of world-class infrastructures in collaborative projects.

In addition to supporting the achievement of scientific results and internationalization of Finnish research, the selected collaborative projects will boost the development and global importance of Finland's EuroHPC ecosystem and strengthen its societal impact by contributing to global grand challenges.

Collaborative projects will be agreed under the umbrella of the organization-level Memorandum of Collaboration (MoC) between CSC and RIKEN Center for Computational Science (R-CCS).

Japan (R-CCS) hosts Fugaku HPC infrastructure that holds the number one position in Linpack TOP500 performance list of supercomputers. Fugaku is used in applications that contribute to the Society 5.0 plan, particularly in drug discovery, personalized and preventive medicine, simulations of natural disasters, weather and climate forecasting, energy creation, storage, and use; development of clean energy; new material development; new design and production processes.

The aim is to enable 2-5 collaborative projects bringing together Finnish representatives with RIKEN counterparts to strengthen international HPC and research cooperation, benefit from the available capabilities and leverage the organization-level cooperation agreements. Funding is available for Finland-based (contractual arrangements will be done between CSC and Finland-based research organizations) researchers and research teams. In addition to evaluation of scientific excellence, the selection process will emphasize the feasibility of contractual agreement and common interests with the Japanese counterparts, technical feasibility, and the above-mentioned MoC.

Methodology

The selected research projects are a part of CSC's global cooperation efforts to enable CSC’s customers to access world-class tools and strengthen opportunities for international research activities. LUMI and the development of the Finnish EuroHPC ecosystem are central to the collaborative projects. The purpose is to strengthen cooperation between both Finland and Japan. This will be achieved through individually selected collaborative projects utilizing HPC and related applications, in which research teams and organisations work together with infrastructure providers, building a basis of collaboration in utilizing HPC and related applications, utilizing HPC capacity from LUMI and Fugaku.

CSC will also make a subcontracting agreement with the Finnish organizations where the selected researchers or research teams are based to enable their cost recovery.

Selected projects are responsible for agreeing on the concrete research collaboration with the Japanese counterparts, as well as planning of the activities, implementing the research activities, reporting the results and requesting for reimbursement for the costs from CSC, and disseminating the results. CSC’s regular support services (e.g. LUMI user support services) are in use on normal terms for the researchers. Other support or technical expertise that is required from CSC (e.g. technical expertise and work on HPC applications) in order for the projects to succeed will be agreed on separately.

Funding is available only for Finnish researchers and research teams and the counterparts in Japan will need to have their own costs covered separately. In Finland, the Ministry of Education and Culture is instrumental in enabling collaborative projects.

Who should answer the call for interest?

The main target group are authors of scientific research, such as Finnish research groups conducting cutting-edge research or flagships of science. However, the foreseen impact is broader and, through the promotion of scientific research, the benefits are socially and globally wider, particularly in the long term. This initiative also aim to strengthens the global position of the Finnish EuroHPC ecosystem.

Research teams and researchers are encouraged to submit an open research demonstration of interest as a basis for the negotiation and selection of the collaboration projects be carried out. Thus, the researchers at the centre of collaborative projects are involved in planning the content of the project from the beginning. They are also a key part of the project's implementation as the cooperation projects are designed to enable research cooperation between the parties, using research infrastructures.

How to apply?

All interested applicants are invited to compete the Open Call Expressions of Interest at https://link.webropol.com/s/globalcollabopencall

Timeline

In the spring of 2022, an expression of interest search will be conducted, with the aim of selecting collaborative projects to be implemented, selected between 2-5 projects between Finland and Japan.

  • Launch of Open Call for expressions of Interest: 18 May 2022
  • Call for expressions of interest closes: 27 June 2022
  • Evaluation of applications: June – August 2022
  • Negotiation and contracts: September - October 2022
  • Contractualisation and preparations: November – December 2022
  • Start of project work: January 2023 (computation projects could have an earlier start)

The period of funding for collaborative projects is until 30 September 2025.

How will the applications be selected?

Criteria for selection include scientific assessment (excellence), technical feasibility, expected effectiveness, exploitation of infrastructure and computing resources that are key to research, thematic suitability, and feasibility of cooperation with research actors in Japan.

The successful proposals are expected to already have some level of collaborative discussions or collaboration with the suggested counterparts.

Collaborative projects are agreed by subcontracting agreement between CSC and the research organisation.

2-5 projects will be selected for a maximum amount of funding of EUR 750 000.

Results

As a result of this project, collaboration will be created between researchers from Finland and Japan that will strengthen the global impact of LUMI infrastructure. A total of about 2-5 collaborative projects will be conducted.

In addition, research results are expected from the projects that may play a role in tackling global challenges.

CSC will communicate the results of the overall project based on the reporting of collaborative projects and separately produced content. In addition, collaborative projects are expected to communicate the results of their projects.

Good practices are promoted by organising an open expression of interest call for project suggestions. The selection of projects takes into account the assessment of the scientific feasibility and effectiveness of projects by an international panel. In addition, cooperation projects are required to comply with good scientific practices.

In an expression of interest in cooperation projects, projects are asked about the expected use of results. In addition, as part of the final reporting of collaborative projects, the projects will carry out an assessment of the continued collaboration and exploitation and consolidation of project results. These are reported in the final reporting of the overall project.

Key partners

The key partners are Finnish universities with which CSC enters into a subcontract to enable the work of researchers in collaborative projects, and for which CSC provides support for the implementation of the projects through CSC’s regular support services and as agreed separately.

In Japan, a key partner is RIKEN, whose Fugaku infrastructure can be used for collaborative projects either in parallel with LUMI or through exchange of resources, or either infrastructure alone. CSC has a Memorandum of Collaboration with RIKEN's Centre for Computational Science R-CCS , which provides the basis for collaborative projects.

 

FAQ

1. What are the expected reporting and payment milestones?

  • Prepayment Dec 2022 – Jan 2023 – 40%
  • Intermediate Dec 2023 – Jan 2024 – 25 %
  • Intermediate Dec 2024 – Jan 2025 -25 %
  • Final Sept 2025 – 10% and adjustments

If projects have a shorter time frame, timelines can be tailored to a specific duration and Project requirements.

2. How will the computing resources be allocated?

Please review in detail the LUMI General Terms of Use before applying. These include guidelines on best practices but also clear requirements especially regarding processing personal data in user content.

Applicants are expected to include a detailed estimate of the resources needed in terms of node-hours and storage requirements.

Part of the LUMI resources can be offered together with the grant and further resources can be granted via normal application channels (Finland's regular access and extreme scale access calls, EuroHPC JU's calls). As there are allocation limitations to be considered, PIs should factor the need to apply for resources in addition to an initial allocation provided through the grant. Estimates will be further discussed during the negotiation phase.

3. What are the expectations regarding the project IPR and other contractual terms?

The contract to be signed between CSC and the successful applicants and their organisations will follow the model of the existing framework agreement between CSC and Finnish universities, universities of applied sciences and research institutes. For more information on the framework agreements please read more about our stakeholders and stakeholder engagement or contact you research administration office.

4. How can I ask questions about the Open Calls?

For more information contact us at globalcollab (at) postit.csc.fi.

An Info session focused on the Open call is scheduled for the 6 June at 11:00 EEST. Registration is open at info session webinar registration page. The session will look at the call objectives and methodology, technical implementation aspects and application process.