On the 26th of September this year, a fruitful online meeting was held between representatives of the Institute of Information and Communication Technologies (IICT) – the leading partner in the National Competence Center in Bulgaria (NCC Bulgaria),  and representatives of the Institute of Physics Belgrade (IPB) – the leading partner of NCC Serbia. IICT and IPB have collaborated on various ICT-related projects over the last two decades, and our joint work has always been productive and successful. Within the EuroCC2 project we joined forces to promote and share knowledge on high-performance computing (HPC) and related areas like artificial intelligence and high-performance data analytics.

During the meeting, we presented the major new developments within the national HPC infrastructures of both countries. The HPC center at IICT has recently been upgraded with a new HPC system with a peak performance of more than 3 PetaFlops. The system for data storage and processing with a capacity of 6.72 PetaBytes was also discussed. Meanwhile, a significant upgrade of the PARADOX high-performance cluster at IPB is scheduled for November. The technical specifications of the two systems were discussed in depth and will be provided to the larger research communities in the countries in the near future. After discussing the advantages and interesting features we agreed to jointly organize an event where we will showcase these systems and the best ways to utilize them.

The Bulgarian team, with their longer tenure in EuroCC, shared their practical experience in integrating SME applications into their HPC resources, as well as the policy-oriented aspects of such kinds of collaboration. We strongly believe that good regional practices can influence and improve the interactions with national SMEs. The Bulgarian team shared some insights obtained from their collaboration with NCC UK, while the Serbian team presented the major outcomes of their discussions with NCC North Macedonia and NCC Montenegro.