New pre-studies in NeIC’s project portfolio

In addition to the operational activity Nordic Tier-1 and various development projects, NeIC facilitates cross-border collaborations through the community-forming pre-study and workshop models.

Like the projects, pre-studies and workshops are collaborative efforts that bring together experts from various Nordic countries or Estonia and aim to provide added value to the region by enhancing or supporting e-infrastructure. Pre-studies are shorter-term and lighter than development projects, as they usually last for a year and have a more limited budget that is meant to cover meeting and coordination costs. The pre-studies could aim at exploring synergies of common e-infrastructure solutions and the potential to scope a future development project either with NeIC or another e-infrastructure call.

One pre-study was awarded funding in 2021 and was initiated this June. EWPE focuses on improving short-range weather predictions to support national meteorological services in enhancing safety and securing life and property. In 2022, two pre-studies were awarded funding, and they are to start either this year or early next year. One of them contributes to preserving biodiversity through improved information management of Nordic-Baltic genebanks, and the other aims to build a strong community for experts from all academic levels within the field of computational biology.

EWPE: Energy-efficient Weather Prediction at Exascale

Over the past few decades, numerical weather prediction models and associated prediction capabilities have benefited from an exponential increase in computing resources at nearly constant cost of high-performance computing (HPC) technology. The national meteorological services actively engage with the national HPC providers, but especially as the HPC landscape changes, harnessing the power of exascale class capacity will require even closer collaboration across the Nordic borders.

To add value and increase competence in the Nordic weather prediction field, the EWPE pre-study will work to form a community with the following goals:

  • develop new concepts for designing algorithms and for mapping the associated computational patterns onto the available EuroHPC architectures,
  • investigate HPC adaptation and alternative numerical formulations of physically and computationally clearly identifiable model components, and
  • investigate HPC requirements for Earth System Modelling and digital twins, aiming at increasing the future competitiveness of the researchers at the Nordic centres in upcoming Horizon Europe and other calls.

The goal of the pre-study is to provide improved short-range weather forecasts for the geographical domains of interest and support the national meteorological services in enhancing safety and securing life and property. The group started its work in June 2021 by hosting a community-forming workshop.

GENBIS_SOP: Development of community standard operating procedures for the Nordic-Baltic Genebanks Information Management System

Biodiversity of importance for food and agriculture is conserved in a wide range of locations across the Nordics and Baltics. This diversity is the basis for solving future challenges regarding food security, adaptation to climate change and sustainable environmentally friendly agriculture. Efficient use of genetic resources and associated data is dependent on an informative genebank information management system. The value of genebank material increases with information density which allows for more effective data mining to identify suitable material for different research and breeding projects, and an integrated system has a further benefit of searches for material across genebanks. The Nordic Genetic Resource centre (NordGen) maintains the information management system, GENBIS, that is currently used by seven countries in the Nordic-Baltic region.

The GENBIS_SOP pre-study will arrange workshops to share knowledge and develop competence, with the focal topic of developing community standard operating procedures (SOPs) to ensure high data quality and a community-standardised approach to data entry. The first workshop will be arranged on 22-24 November in Sweden. In this workshop, the goal is to create SOPs on a set of database tables related to accession level data. The second workshop will be held in the spring of 2023. This workshop will focus on a different type of data; crop trait data from characterisation and evaluation trials that can be imported to the database.

Nordic Computational Biology

The Nordic Computational Biology pre-study aims to gather and attract Nordic researchers of all academic levels and backgrounds within the field of computational biology. The goal is to become a space for collaboration and professional development. This will be achieved through knowledge-exchange initiatives and events and by providing latest information on ongoing computational research and infrastructures in the Nordic region. The group believes the community will be active in contributing to addressing and solving data and computational centric challenges of today. Within Nordic Computational Biology, it should be possible to get help, network with potential collaborators, start projects, search for jobs, and participate in various activities.

Some of the objectives for the pre-study are to create an online open-access platform for employers as well as job seekers for distributing and querying job opportunities within the research field, and to contribute to the development of computational tools that can be made accessible to the Nordic research infrastructure.