The annual HPC user forum in Bulgaria took place in Sofia Tech Park on November 16th, 2023. In the past three years, the Forum was organised by the National Competence Centre for High Performance Computing in Bulgaria (NCC Bulgaria), established within the framework of project EuroCC – “National Competence Centres in the framework of EuroHPC”, Phase 1 and 2.
The numerous presentations, talks and in-depth discussions between researchers, representatives of industry and public administration highlighted the significant achievements in the field of high performance computing and technologies in Bulgaria and the contribution of the NCC Bulgaria to the obtained results, as well as the fruitful European cooperation within the EuroCC2 project and the upcoming challenges to expand operations and achieve sustainability.
The forum was opened by Corr. memb. Svetozar Margenov, director of the Institute of Information and Communication Technologies at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences who was one of the pioneers in the field of supercomputing in Bulgaria. During the first session, Prof. Aneta Karaivanova, head of NCC Bulgaria, presented the achievements and the new tasks that lie ahead in this rapidly developing priority area. Representatives of the Competence Centres in Poland and Romania presented highlights of their work too.
The program continued with three thematical panels. In the first one, moderated by Prof. Emanuil Atanasov, the heads of major infrastructure projects implemented under the Operational Program “Science and Education for Smart Growth”, presented and discussed the recent innovations and developments in the HPC infrastructure. The forum coincided with the publication of the November edition of the TOP500 supercomputer ranking, which featured the recently deployed supercomputer HEMUS (ranked 360th) in addition to the other Bulgarian feature of the TOP500 list – Discoverer. In the second panel – “HPC+ for Researchers and Public Administration”, moderated by Prof. Ana Proikova, 6 success stories were presented, followed by a lively discussion. In the third panel – “HPC+ for Industry”, moderated by Prof. Kamelia Stefanova, representatives of various SMEs shared the benefits of using high performance technologies in their work and some interesting problems and new scientific results achieved in the course of the joint work were presented.
The event ended with a session dedicated to the user experience, needs and expectations. Users expressed their satisfaction with the high level of expertise in the centre‘s team and the access they provide to modern equipment. As a result of the interactions during the forum, a vision how to improve the local HPC landscape and expand the range of services of the National Centre of Competence was formed.