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Open Call for Expressions of Interest: Finland – Colorado state (US) coordinated research collaboration

Open Call for Expressions of Interest: Finland – Colorado state (US) coordinated research collaboration

CSC – IT Center for Science is launching a global collaboration project and calls for expressions of interest from Finnish research teams to join coordinated research collaboration efforts between Finland and Colorado state (US). The objective of the call is to foster international collaboration opportunities for Finnish research teams and closely support the use of LUMI infrastructure in global research collaboration. The partnerships thus set up are aimed at achieving top scientific results, internationalize Finnish research and further boost the development and global importance of LUMI infrastructure and strengthen its societal impact by contributing to global grand challenges.

The main target groups of the call are authors of scientific research, such as Finnish research groups conducting cutting-edge research or flagships of science. Research teams and researchers are encouraged to submit an expression of interest as a basis for the negotiation and agreement for collaboration.

The aim of the CSC-coordinated global collaboration project is to enable 2–5 collaborative sub-projects between Finnish representatives and Coloradan counterparts to strengthen global cooperation, benefit from the available capabilities and leverage the state- and organization-level cooperation agreements, especially considering that Colorado hosts a number of national laboratories, of which many are providing HPC capabilities to research. Other organization-level agreements will be followed up as needed in order for the selected projects to succeed.

Collaborative projects will be agreed under the umbrella of the state-level Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Finland and the Colorado state. The MoU between Finland and Colorado focuses on increased cooperation on green economy (including clean energy and climate resilience), aerospace (including sensors, weather technology, space research, small satellites) and computing both high performance and quantum.

Methodology

Finland has made significant investments in globally competitive research infrastructures such as the LUMI infrastructure, which is located in CSC’s data center in Kajaani and hosted by the LUMI consortium. The selected research projects are a part of CSC's global cooperation efforts to enable CSC’s customers to access world-class tools and increase opportunities for international research activities. LUMI and the development of the Finnish computing ecosystem are central to the collaborative projects, as these will be utilizing HPC and related applications, and research teams and organisations work together with infrastructure providers such as CSC. In addition, CSC will support cooperation and matchmaking with the counterpart organizations in Colorado through MoUs or similar arrangements, facilitating among other the use of HPC resources.

The selected projects are responsible for agreeing on the concrete research collaboration with the Coloradan counterparts, as well as planning the activities, implementing research activities, reporting results. CSC will enter in a subcontracting agreement with the Finnish organizations where the selected researchers or research teams are based to enable their cost recovery. Researchers may use CSC’s regular support services (e.g. LUMI user support services) on normal terms. Other support or technical expertise required from CSC in order for the projects to succeed (e.g. technical expertise and work on HPC applications) will be agreed on separately.

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

How to apply?

All interested applicants are invited to complete the Open Call for Expressions of Interest.

How will the applications be selected?

Criteria for selection include scientific assessment (excellence), technical feasibility, expected effectiveness, exploitation of infrastructure and computing resources central to the call, thematic suitability, and feasibility of cooperation and common interests with research actors and infrastructure providers in Colorado.

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

Collaborative projects are agreed on through a subcontracting agreement between CSC and the research organization.

The full amount of funding is EUR 750 000 to be divided between 2–5 projects that will be invited for negotiation.

Timeline

  • The open call of interest is conducted in autumn 2022 with the aim of selecting and implementing 2–5 collaborative research projects between Finland and the state of Colorado.
  • Launch of Open Call for expressions of Interest: 7 October 2022
  • Call for expressions of interest closes: 30 November 2022 – 17:00 EET
  • Evaluation of applications: December 2022 – January 2023
  • Negotiation and contracts:  February – March 2023
  • Contractualisation and preparations: April – May 2023
  • Start of project work: June 2023
  • The period of funding for collaborative projects is until 30 September 2025.

Results

CSC will communicate the results of the overall call based on the reporting of the collaborative projects and separately produced content. In addition, the collaborative projects are expected to communicate their own results and comply with good scientific practices.

Projects are asked about the expected use of results in their expression of interest submission and it is foreseen that part of the final reporting of collaborative projects, the team will carry out an assessment of continued collaboration and exploitation and consolidation of project results. These will also be included in the final reporting of the overall call carried out by CSC.

Info Session

An Info session focused on the Open call is scheduled for the 25 October 2022 at 15:00 EEST. Registration is open at Zoom.

The session will look at the call objectives and methodology, technical implementation aspects and the broader collaboration framework as well as the and application process.


FAQ

  1. What are the expected reporting and payment milestones?
    Prepayment June 2023 – 40%
    Intermediate May-June 2024 – 25 %
    Intermediate May-June 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 visit the stakeholders stakeholder engagement page or contact you research administration office.
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  4. How can I ask questions about the Open Calls?
    For more information contact us at globalcollab (at) postit.csc.fi.