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EuroCC Lithuania visits Stockholm

Lilit Axner, ENCCS

As part of the collaboration between the EuroCC National Competence Centres in Lithuania and Sweden (which are known respectively as NCC Lithuania and ENCCS), the director of the Lithuanian centre, Mindaugas Mačernis, visited ENCCS in Stockholm between the 25th and 27th of January 2022 to become acquainted with the Swedish high-performance computing (HPC) ecosystem. This mentoring activity was jointly financed by CASTIEL (the Coordination and Support Action project for National Competence Centres on a European Level) and by EuroCC.

The ENCCS director, Lilit Axner, introduced Mindaugas Mačernis to the ENCCS team and together they had a full day of interesting discussions during which Mindaugas learned how ENCCS has successfully built up the centre in Sweden in just one and half years, including gathering a large number of researchers who are interested in taking advantage of the services provided by the centre to improve their research practices and outcomes. Lilit Axner discussed the activities and best practices that ENCCS had shared so far with its industrial and public sector users, as well as the importance of being agile and user-oriented when providing HPC and artificial intelligence (AI) services.

The ENCCS training coordinator, Thor Wikfeldt, explained how ENCCS develops training material and how it tunes the training portfolio towards the needs of the Swedish users. They also talked about the periodic surveys ENCCS carries out with its users. Similarly, the ENCCS dissemination coordinator, Apostolos Vasileiadis, discussed the efficient outreach techniques that ENCCS uses to connect and communicate with the researchers who utilise its training and other services.

On the second day, Mindaugas visited the PDC Center for High Performance Computing at the KTH Royal Institute of Technology where the PDC director, Dirk Pleiter, together with PDC staff members, introduced Mindaugas to PDC’s activities and described PDC’s engagement with local researchers, as well as PDC’s activities within several international projects. Mindaugas also visited the PDC computer room to see the new Swedish general-purpose system, Dardel, which is an HPE Cray EX supercomputer.

From left to right: Kjartan Thor Wikfeldt (ENCCS), Apostolos Vasileiadis (ENCCS), Mindaugas Mačernis (EuroCC Lithuania), Lilit Axner (ENCCS), Dirk Pleiter (PDC), and Ragnar Sundblad (PDC) at PDC

On the last day of the visit to Sweden, Mindaugas and Lilit visited the National Supercomputer Centre (NSC) at Linköping University. There the NSC director, Björn Alling, and NSC’s technical director, Niclas Andersson, presented NSC’s HPC services and the NSC staff, as well as discussing the details of how everyday work is organised at NSC. After the presentations, the group visited the NSC computer rooms to see the AI system, Berzelius, (which is funded by the Wallenberg AI, Autonomous Systems and Software Program) and the Swedish National Infrastructure for Computing (SNIC) system, Tetralith, both of which are hosted at NSC.

From left to right: Lilit Axner (ENCCS), Mindaugas Mačernis (EuroCC Lithuania) and Björn Alling (NSC) at NSC