BioExcel Deliverable 3.2 – Consultancy Proposals
- 1. EPCC
The partners in BioExcel are engaged in numerous projects, many of which have strong connections to the centre’s activities. The three core codes have been in development for many years and have been supported by many different projects over this time. It is the case however, that many of these funding streams are focused on specific scientific applications as opposed to other equally important aspects of research software development. Funding from proposals is necessary to support activities related to BioExcel, but individual projects alone cannot fully address the remit of the CoE, namely preparation for Exascale, improvements to software development processes, extensive support to the community and engaging with industry. BioExcel will support world leading European software whose development is funded through multiple sources. A CoE is needed to integrate these efforts into a coherent approach to maintain European leadership. If there was no CoE, the community would fragment and there would be a real risk that individual efforts would benefit only a subset of the user community.
BioExcel is in a good position to support work related to the codes that other
funding sources do not support directly, such as helping to prepare for Exascale, community building, and to help to provide continuity for code developers as they move between different funding streams.
This document offers examples of project proposals that BioExcel has been
involved in, and projects or initiatives that are already underway. These are classified as either focused on the project’s core codes or related to BioExcel’s activities on workflows and data integration. Examples include proposals for specific code enhancements, such as the GROMEX bid, and involvement in larger proposals such as the EGI/EUDAT/INDIGO: European Open Science Cloud proposal, in which the HADDOCK web portal has been included as a thematic service. In terms of workflows, there are several large projects that involve multiple BioExcel partners including the ELIXIR Interoperability Platform, Multiscale Complex Genomics VRE and WestLife VRE. BioExcel partners are also involved in key development work with Open PHACTS and KNIME.
Industry-related activities to date have focused around the establishment of the Interest Group, “Practical Applications for Industry”, which now has 30 signed up members from 23 companies.
Work to explore future business models and sustainability plans is well
underway in WP5. Whilst it is not yet known exactly what the balance of future funding for the centre will look like, it is clear that whatever the future funding model for the CoE, it is unlikely that any single line of public funding would fully sustain the work of the centre. It is therefore expected that BioExcel will continue to explore options to apply for funding from multiple sources, and this work has begun under the auspices of Task 3.6. Core BioExcel funding will provide continuity and stability, and serve to multiply the impact of the individual projects which could be, at least partially, coordinated by the CoE.