In good SHAPE in Barcelona

Author: Paul Graham
Posted: 25 Jan 2016 | 10:42

SHAPE is a pan-European programme that supports HPC adoption by SMEs (small to medium sized enterprises).

This week saw the face-to-face meeting of Workpackage 7 of the PRACE project, hosted at Barcelona Supercomputing Centre (where I have to say they have the most interesting machine room of any HPC centre - see photos). Amongst other things discussed was the SHAPE project (SHAPE stands for SME HPC Adoption Programme in Europe).

It can be challenging for SMEs to adopt HPC. They may have no in-house expertise, no access to hardware, or be unable to commit resources to a potentially risky endeavour. This is where SHAPE comes in, by making it easier for SMEs to make use of high-performance computing in their business - be it to improve product quality, reduce time to delivery or provide innovative new services to their customers. 

Successful applicants to the SHAPE programme get effort from a PRACE HPC expert and access to machine time at a PRACE centre. In collaboration with the SME, the PRACE partner helps them try out their ideas for utilising HPC to enhance their business. So far, SHAPE has assisted over 20 SMEs (see the project website for examples), and the 3rd call for applications has just closed, so there are more companies in the pipeline who will benefit from this enabling programme.

SHAPE will continue in the next phase of PRACE (5IP), and the plan is to have six-monthly calls (the next opens in June), giving ample opportunity for SMEs to investigate what HPC can do for their business.


Paul Graham, EPCC 

Further information

To find out more about the project, see the SHAPE website or contact the SHAPE coordinator, Paul Graham (  

PRACE project  

Barcelona Supercomputing Centre 



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