Introduction to the Irish Centre for High-End Computing

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    The Irish Centre for High-End Computing (ICHEC) at the University of Galway is Ireland's national centre for High-Performance Computing (HPC) providing e-infrastructure, services and expertise to academia, industry and the public sector supported by the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Skills and the Higher Education Authority
    Established in 2005, ICHEC is hosted by the University of Galway, and accommodated within the College of Science and Engineering and aligned to the University's Strategy 2020-2025. You can read more about ICHEC and the University of Galway here

    The Irish Centre for High-End Computing's core remit is to support Excellence in Science on the national high-performance computer 'Kay'. By supporting the effective use and adoption of HPC and novel technologies across the public sector it contributes to policy development and supports SME growth. ICHEC is also the European HPC Competence Centre for Ireland advancing academic access to European exascale computing and SME exploitation of new technologies.

    J-C Desplat
    Prof. J-C. Desplat, Director, ICHEC

    About ICHEC

    The Irish Centre for High-End Computing (ICHEC) at the University of Galway provides e-infrastructure, services and expertise to academia, industry and the public sector. In addition to its core remit of supporting Excellence in Science on the national high-performance computer 'Kay', ICHEC enables the application of HPC for developing efficient services and solutions based technologies such as artificial intelligence, high performance data analytics, Earth Observation, quantum computing and cybersecurity across a number of sectors including environmental sciences, healthcare, agriculture, energy, financial services and ICT.

    By operating Kay (Ireland's national supercomputer) and the National Quantum Learning Platform, ICHEC enables researchers, enterprises and the public sector to innovate solutions for complex social, economic and environmental challenges.

    ICHEC works in partnership with industry and public authorities in joint R&D activities, skills development, and provisioning HPC and data management services to accelerate and de-risk their digital transformation and green transition.

    ICHEC is also the National HPC Competence Centre in Ireland under the EuroHPC Competence Centre (EuroCC) initiative.

    ICHEC delivers post-graduate academic training in HPC across the academic sector. Recent modules have been delivered on post-graduate programmes at University of Galway, UCD and UL. ICHEC engineers organise modules in Masters Programmes in Data Analytics, Climate and Earth Observation, Data Science and Genomics and AI as well as providing elective modules on phd programmes.  


    To deploy and operate key compute and data services in support of the creation and operation of a modern national e-infrastructure for Ireland. 


    1. Enable Excellence in ScienceThe core provision of HPC and data services to, and in partnership with, Ireland’s academic research ecosystem. 

    2. Advance Digital Skills: A primary function of ICHEC is to support the academic research community in performance and efficient coding.  We do this through our expertise in HPC user support on the national HPC 'KAY' and across our Novel Technology expertise in areas, such as, code optimisation, AI, Machine Learning, data science and quantum technologies.

    3. Accelerate Economic Development: ICHEC has a proven track record in dealing with the public sector and larger ICT companies (for example Intel, IBM, Microsoft, Atos, Accenture, Xilinx) resulting in many successful partnerships. ICHEC has also shown that the adoption of HPC and data intelligence technologies, can dramatically accelerate the growth and sustainability of Irish SMEs and start-up companies.

    4. Deliver HPC for Good: Computer modelling and data intelligence is delivering benefits in tackling major societal issues. For Ireland this encompasses topics such as housing, climate change mitigation, urban and rural planning, healthcare delivery, etc.  On a global scale, the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs) provide a wide picture of the many pressing challenges the world faces, while the European Union’s Research & Innovation Missions provide a mandate to solve pressing societal challenges within a certain timeframe and budget, starting from the next EU Multi-Year Financial Framework.

    Key Activities

    ICHEC manages the national HPC infrastructure, Kay and is the EuroHPC Competence Centre for Ireland. ICHEC's National HPC Service (NS) offers academic researchers access to HPC computing resources. ICHEC also develops leading edge technologies to promote the adoption of advanced HPC in industry and public administration and the enterprise sector. The Centre's technical capabilities include breakthrough and transformative coding through its expertise in Code Optimisation, AI, Machine Learning, Data Science and Quantum Technologies. A complete overview of all of ICHEC's Activities is available here.

    History of ICHEC

    Since it's inception in 2005, ICHEC has grown from operating the National HPC Service which is used across the academic researchers to extensively engaging with the public sector and industry. ICHEC has interacted with 150+ companies through face-to-face meetings, resulting in 40+ commercial projects and partnerships. 

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