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Welcome to the Christmas edition of the PDC Newsletter! At this time of year, one should reflect a bit on what happened during the year and also look forward to what the new year may bring.

2016 has been a productive year for PDC with all our systems in full production mode. Although we have not had any major new systems this year, we have still been engaged in major building activities: some offices on the 5th floor have been converted into an open space providing a relaxed environment where PDC users can interact with PDC experts. This open space is a key ingredient in the Swedish e-Science Research Council (SeRC) strategy to combine domain scientists and computer science researchers, as well as high performance computer centre experts, into multidisciplinary teams. We have also expanded our application expert team with new members focusing on fluid dynamics and graphics processing unit (GPU) programming, thanks to funds for research infrastructure fellows from the Swedish Foundation for Strategic Research (SSF).

Many international endeavours also made great progress in 2016. The Human Brain Project released the first version of their Information and Communications Technology (ICT) platforms, the Partnership for Advanced Computing in Europe (PRACE) is preparing to enter a new phase, called PRACE 2.0, and the Nordic e-Infrastructure Collaboration (NeIC) continued pooling Nordic competencies. In addition our Centre of Excellence for Computational Biomolecular Research, BioExcel, celebrated its first birthday!

Looking ahead into 2017, we will see a major change in the organisation and funding scheme for the Swedish National Infrastructure for Computing (SNIC). A task force is currently working out a new model for SNIC and the Swedish Research Council (VR) is expected to take a decision on this model during spring. This is happening in a timely manner for PDC as during 2017 we need to secure the funds for a system to replace Beskow. The new system is expected to be in place at PDC by early 2019, so initial technical planning for it has already started!

Finally, if you have ever wondered what our universe is made of, have a look at our cover article on Dark Matter, and find out about some of the fascinating research that our systems are being used for.

With this we wish all our users “Happy Holidays” and look forward to a great 2017!

Erwin Laure, Director PDC, and CST