A brief history of ICHEC
Established in 2005 with funding from Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) and the Higher Education Authority (HEA), ICHEC’s original function was to set up and operate Ireland’s first national academic HPC service for the benefit of all Irish Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) and Research Institutions. It has since directly supported over 1,400 academic researchers. Public sector engagement followed in 2007, when ICHEC established a strategic partnership with the national weather forecasting agency Met Éireann, later followed by the Central Statistics Office (CSO). An active programme of industry engagement was initiated in 2009 with support from Enterprise Ireland. As of August 2017, ICHEC has since interacted with 150+ companies through face-to-face meetings, resulting in 40+ commercial engagements.
Since its humble beginnings as a seed project grant, ICHEC has grown to an organisation of over 25 staff and is recognised internationally by its peers and by industry as a partner of choice for HPC services and R&D collaborations. As a State-supported organisation, ICHEC is mindful to align its strategy closely to Government policy. This is illustrated by explicit mentions in a number of documents such as the Higher Education Authority National review of HPC provision in Ireland (2011) and the Department of Jobs, Enterprised & Innovation Action Plan for Jobs 2013 and is making significant contributions to Government targets such as Minister Sherlock’s €1.25bn national target for H2020 whenever possible.
ICHEC is well known in the third level sector as the organisation in charge of operating the National HPC Service. This service however, only represents one aspect of ICHEC’s Academic Services, and has little to no direct relevance on the Centre’s industry and public sector engagements. The impact and breadth of ICHEC's work is well represented in a video produced for ICHEC's 10th anniversary celebrations (above).