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The Fortissimo Project

Fortissimo is a collaborative project that enables European SMEs to be more competitive globally through the use of simulation services running on a High Performance Computing cloud infrastructure. The project is coordinated by the University of Edinburgh and involves 123 partners (74 SMEs) including Manufacturing Companies, Application Developers, Domain Experts, IT Solution Providers and HPC Cloud Service Providers from 14 countries. These partners are engaged in 53 experiments (case studies) where business relevant simulations of industrial processes are implemented and evaluated. The project is funded by the European Commission within the 7th Framework Programme and is part of the I4MS Initiative.

The Challenge

The importance of advanced simulation to the competitiveness of both large and small companies is well established. However, the simulation of, for example, high-pressure gas cylinders or the moulding of plastics requires enormous computing power and specialized software tools and services. Generally, large companies have easier access to advanced simulation than SMEs, which are facing both technological hurdles and financial challenges. This means that SMEs are often not able to take advantage of advanced simulation, even though it would clearly make them more competitive.

The Goal

The goal of Fortissimo is to overcome this impasse through the provision of simulation services and tools running on a cloud infrastructure. A "one-stop-shop" will greatly simplify access to advanced simulation, particularly to SMEs. This will make hardware, expertise, applications, visualisation and tools easily available and affordable on a pay-per-use basis. In doing this Fortissimo will create and demonstrate a viable and sustainable commercial ecosystem.

The Experiments

Fortissimo will be driven by end-user requirements: 53 business-relevant application experiments will serve to develop, test and demonstrate both the infrastructure and the "one-stop pay-per-use shop". 20 experiments - all HPC-cloud-based - have already been completed in fields such as the simulation of continuous casting and die casting, environmental control and urban planning, and aerodynamic design and optimisation. A second wave of 22 new experiments has been added as a result of the first open call followed by a third wave of 11 additional experiments. These two new sets of experiments complement those currently active within Fortissimo and broadens the engineering and manufacturing applications from an extended range of industrial sectors including: Automotive, Aerospace, Construction, Energy & Renewable Energy, Environmental, Maritime, Metal Processing, Oil & Gas, Pharmaceutical & Biotech, Plastics. Amongst the new partners who joined the project are a total of 51 SMEs, solving core business challenges with the support of application-domain and HPC experts and resources. Further details on the Fortissimo experiments are available here.

The Impact

Fortissimo contributes to the increased competitiveness of European manufacturing industry through the innovative infrastructure that is developed and tested. It also creates commercial opportunities for European Independent Software Vendors and for service and High Performance Computing infrastructure providers, through the creation of a new market for their products and services. Fortissimo places emphasis on the exploitation of opportunities at all levels of the value chain all the way from the SME end-users to the providers of High Performance Computing infrastructure. More details can be found in the Fortissimo Booklet of Case Studies.

The Details

Project Name: Fortissimo – Factories of the Future Resources, Technology, Infrastructure and Services for Simulation and Modelling
Start Date: July 1st 2013
End Date: December 31st 2016
Total Budget 21.7 M€
EU Contribution: 16 M€
Contract number: 609029 under the 7th Framework Programme
No of Partners: 123 in total (14 core Partners and 109 Partners in Experiments)
Core Partners: University of Edinburgh, Scapos, Bull SAS, GENCI, INRIA, University of Stuttgart, Cineca, Surf SARA, XLAB, Arctur, CESGA, Gompute, Sicos and Intel
No of Experiments:

53 in total of which 20 have been started with the project and have already finished. As the result of the first open call 22 new experiments have joined the Fortissimo project October 1st 2014 and expected to finish early 2016. The second open call added another 11 new experiments which started July 1st 2015 and expected to finish end of 2016.