Key Milestones

Key milestones achieved by ICHEC since it was established in 2005 are detailed below. HPC is a rapidly evolving technology globally. ICHEC has been fortunate in the strategic insights and support of its Board and Chairman, the dedication of staff and the formal and informal support it receives from its original and ongoing connection with University of Galway, the HEA and the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science. 

2005 to 2010

2010 to 2015

2015 to 2020

2005 - 2010


  • Creation of ICHEC with seed funding from Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) and capital funding contributions from the Higher Education Authority (HEA) through the PRTLI4-funded CosmoGrid project. ICHEC opens offices in Galway (6 staff) and Dublin (2 staff).
  • Procurement of the first national Supercomputer completed with equipment from IBM (Walton) and Bull (Hamilton). 
  • First appearance of an Irish system in the Top 500 (Walton, 3.14TFlops at position #204).
  • Start of first national HPC Service in Ireland.
  • ICHEC runs its first HPC courses (Intro to HPC and Intro to the Message Passing Interface, MPI) at the Tyndall National Institute in Cork.
  • Appointment of Dr Dennis Jennings as ICHEC's first independent Chair of the Board.


  • New Governing Board chaired by Dr. Dennis Jennings.
  • Professor Luke Drury (Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies) appointed as interim Director.
  • Establishment of ICHEC's Science Council, and award of first Class A projects (first Class A PI is Professor Jiri Vala, NUI Maynooth with a project entitled "Topological phases in quantum lattice systems").




  • Professor Jim Slevin appointed ICHEC Director.
  • ICHEC secures 3 year funding (2009-2011) from Science Foundation Ireland for the National Academic HPC Service.
  • ICHEC moves its Dublin base to larger offices "the hub", its current location, on the same site.
  • Installation of ICHEC's 3D visualisation lab. 
  • Start of ICHEC's Industry engagement programme, and first commercial contract with Tullow Oil.
  • ICHEC staff grows to 20 personnel.
2010 - 2015


  • ICHEC awarded status of NVIDIA CUDA Research Centre, one of only 7 worldwide at the time. David Luebke (NVIDIA Distinguished Inventor Director of Research NVIDIA Corp.) explained that ICHEC had been selected as a CUDA Research Center based on the vision, quality, and impact of the research leveraging CUDA technology carried out in the Centre. 
  • Ireland becomes a founding member of PRACE AISBL.
  • Stokes undergo technology refresh, increasing its processing power to 36.6 TFlops and gain position #332 in the Top 500.
  • First participation as exhibitor to the International Supercomputing Conference, ISC'10 in Hamburg.


  • ICHEC provides a demonstration of its capability to Minister Sean Sherlock TD (Minister of State with responsiblity for Research & Innovation) at the European Science Foundation book launch "European success stories in industrial mathematics".
  • PRACE AISBL formally launches 



  • First participation of ICHEC as exhibitors to the BT Young Scientist Exhibition  
  • ICHEC procures Ireland's new national Supercomputer, Fionn.
  • ICHEC launch Fionn with Minister Sean Sherlock. The name Fionn was proposed by Oscar O’Donoghue and Lauren Boyle following a competition open to all schools in Ireland.
Oscar O’Donoghue, Lauren Boyle, Maciej Goszczycki, Minister Seán Sherlock TD, Prof. Luke Drury
  • ICHEC re-launches its industry engagement programme focused on bridging the skill gap in Irish SMEs and Startups.
  • The Department of Jobs, Enterprise & Innovation and the Department of Education & Skills (with the Higher Education Authority) co-fund ICHEC's new funding cycle for 2013-2015. Ministerial launch at the Royal Irish Academy.






Launch event for Intel IPCC @ ICHEC. Left to right, Vice President, Senior Principal Engineer and Director, Intel Labs Europe Prof. Martin Curley, NUI Galway President Dr Jim Browne, and ICHEC Director Prof. J.-C. Desplat
2015 -2020


  • ICHEC joins LERO programme under SFI Research Centre Call for 2013 securing €970,250 in partnership with Tullow Oil PLC and DataDirect Networks.
  • Workshop on "Technical computing and the economy:competitiveness and, job creation"
  • First participation as exhibitor to the Supercomputing Conference, SC'15, in Austin TX. 
  • ICHEC holds its first workshop at SuperComputing'15  as co-organisers
  • EPA launches new report on Climate Change for Ireland and Climate Adaptation, published by ICHEC's Dr Paul Nolan.
  • Creation of the CSO - ICHEC partnership and Irish Sandbox under the auspices of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe.
  • ICHEC secures participation in its first EI Innovation Partnership with Becton Dickinson & Company through its collaboration with Professor Dermot Kenny of RCSI.
  • ICHEC becomes a proud member of Xilinx alliance programme.
  • Under Horizon 2020 programme, ICHEC secures €1,078,860 from SESAME Net, ESCAPE and PRACE 4IP projects. 


The ICHEC team receiving 'Outstanding Academic Achievement of the Year' award from the Irish Software Association 
  • Celebration of ICHEC's 10th Anniversary with a workshop on "Roberto Viola on HPC and Competitiveness in Ireland and Europe". European Commission Director General of DG-CONNECT, Dr Roberto Viola, provide the keynote addressed.
  • ICHEC secures its 2nd EI innovation partnership with Mediolanum Financial Limited, the 1st partnership of its kind with the banking and financial sector in Ireland.
  • Under Horizon 2020 programme, ICHEC successfully secure €610,900 for READEX, E-CAM, and EiSWACE projects.
  • ICHEC's headcount reaches 30.
  • ICHEC Director receives top French Honour, one of France’s highest honours, the title of Chevalier de l’Ordre des Palmes Académiques (Knight of the Order of Academic).
French ambassador to Ireland, Jean-Pierre Thébault (left) and Professor J.-C. Desplat (right)


  • ICHEC received confirmation of funding for Ireland's next national academic supercomputer. Funded was awarded by Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) as part of its Research Infrastructure 2015 call (category A).







  • ICHEC awarded PRACE Training Centre status.
  • Creation of ICHEC's Oil & Gas activity.
  • Procurement for Ireland's next national academic supercomputer now underway, with opening of the new service scheduled for Q1-2018.
  • Under Horizon 2020 programme, ICHEC successfully secure €730,860 for PRACE 5IP and HPC3 Europa projects.
  • Five year's supporting BT Young Scientist. 
The ICHEC booth remains a popular stop at the exhibition


  • ICHEC appointed Ireland's representative for EuroHPC
  • ICHEC collaborates on first Masters in Artificial Intelligence a programme, with University of Limerick following a launch by the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys (TD) at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland.
  • Seminar with Microsoft on Deep Learning
  • ICHEC announces new High-Performance Computer. The new system, which is being provided by Intel is comprised of a cluster of 336 high performance servers with 13,440 CPU (Central Processing Unit) cores and 64 terabytes of memory for general purpose computations.







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