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BioExcel CoE Awarded Third Round of Funding for Four More Years

Rossen Apostolov, PDC

BioExcel ( ), the leading European Centre of Excellence for Computational Biomolecular Research, has secured new funding from the Horizon Europe research funding programme to operate until the end of 2026. This iteration of the centre is known as BioExcel-3 and includes eight partner institutions which are coordinated by PDC. 

BioExcel was established in 2015 and quickly positioned itself as a leading research and innovation hub for the biomolecular modelling and simulation communities. The centre’s successes led to a second round of funding for BioExcel-2, which ran from 2019 to 2022. In the guise of BioExcel-3, the centre continues to focus on accelerating the development and usability of some of the most widely used European open-source software for computational biomolecular research: GROMACS for molecular dynamics simulations, HADDOCK for integrative docking, PMX for free energy calculation preparation, and BioBB (a workflow building blocks platform). 

In contrast to other projects, BioExcel is strongly user-driven. Feedback by thousands of users of the core applications (for example, from user surveys) is analysed and incorporated into the software development maps. Moreover, the innovative training programme offered by BioExcel is constructed based on an analysis of gaps between user needs and existing training material. Tailored training activities are a fundamental aspect of the programme. The centre undertakes numerous support activities, such as offering public support forums (see  and ), online documentation, webinars (About 70 webinars are available at .), tutorials and in-depth support from experts in the field.

In light of the upcoming exascale computing era, BioExcel is working closely with hardware vendors to ensure optimal execution of the core biomolecular software on the latest supercomputing resources. In this third phase of the project, BioExcel – in close collaboration with the European High Performance Computing Joint Undertaking (EuroHPC JU), which is the main co-funding agency, and participating member states – is continuing its mission to advance science and technology in the life sciences, particularly by focusing on the following activities.

  • Improving the usability of the core software and the reproducibility of results by increasing the adoption of standards and best practices, as well as developing biomolecular workflows for diverse computing environments
  • Strengthening BioExcel’s engagement with academic and industrial biomolecular research communities to guide software development and ensure it has a high scientific impact
  • Providing state-of-the-art training and support to reduce the skills gaps for researchers and students and assist in the development of the next generation of biomolecular computational scientists
  • Conducting wide and effective dissemination of results from our activities, promoting further use of the core software and encouraging further uptake of BioExcel’s support services by the life sciences research community

BioExcel encourages active collaborations between academic and industrial researchers and will promote the exploitation of HPC resources for biomolecular research across EU member and associated states through a newly launched Ambassador Programme. (Contact Rossen Apostolov, , for further information.) 

To learn more about the various resources and activities offered by BioExcel or to sign up to our newsletter, visit .