G8 Research Councils to fund exascale software development

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As noted in this article at Computerworld, the Group of 8 (or G8) Research Councils have announced a preliminary call for proposals for a new software program called “Interdisciplinary Program on Application Software towards Exascale Computing for Global Scale Issues”

By agreeing to set aside funds for supercomputer software development projects, the U.S., Canada, France, Germany, Japan, Russia and the United Kingdom, are heeding the arguments of some top researchers who believe that the open source development model alone cannot deal with all the issues posed by exascale technology, or even by the just arrived petascale systems.

The G8 Research Councils in the nations backing this effort this month quietly began a program offering offering 10 million Euros ($13.6 million U.S.) for projects that support exascale software development. Developers have until May to submit preliminary proposals for the money.

According to the announcement on the UK Research Council’s site the seven national research organizations are

The initiative is supported by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), the French National Research Agency (ANR), the German Research Foundation (DFG), the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS), the Russian Foundation for Basic Research (RFBR), the Research Councils of the United Kingdom (RCUK), and the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF), referred to as the Funding Organisations.

Great effort; they don’t specifically mention how this came about, but I’d be surprised if it didn’t have a lot to do with the International Exascale Software Project started by Pete Beckman and Jack Dongarra. I will observe that I think it is dramatically underfunded given the scale of the work to be done, but its a good start.

This call is the first of a total of three calls that are expected; full details in the Call for Proposals available via the German Research Foundation website (the DFG is acting as the Call Secretariat). If you are in the US, you’ll be interested in the NSF page for the effort, though there isn’t much there yet. Submissions will be made through the various national research organizations; prelim proposals are due by May 7, full proposals by 25 Aug.


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  1. Nice post! Indeed this will boost the future software market. Most of the software components that run supercomputers today were built using open source procedures like discussion lists and code repositories, which has left some development gaps. To be honest some major software firms were expecting something like this to give a next step to the market. Most importantly this will help to roll out more software development projects .