FAQ

Open Call-2 is closed!


You are invited to go through the FAQs and find answers to your questions. 



Yes. The key changes affect the selection process and have been introduced to: (i) give a higher priority to experiments addressing the business benefits of manufacturing SMEs; (ii) achieve a broad geographical distribution of participants.

For (i): proposals not directly addressing the business challenges of manufacturing SMEs can receive a maximum score on Evaluation Criterion 1 of 4.0 points. It should also be noted that research-focused business models are not within the scope of the Call, even though a high European scientific and societal impact might be demonstrated.

For (ii): the selection of experiments - from those proposals evaluated above threshold in Criteria 1 to 3 - will be performed in two phases. In FF4EuroHPC Call 1, experiments were selected involving organisations from the countries of: Croatia, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Montenegro, Serbia, Spain, United Kingdom.

In the first phase of the Call-2 selection process, a selection of experiments with a cumulative funding of up to € 3 M will be made from those proposals with a score exceeding 17 points and taking, for each country not in the aforementioned list, the highest ranked proposal involving an organisation from that country (if any). The second phase of the selection process will use the ranking of all remaining proposals irrespective of country affiliations to select the remaining experiments for funding with the budget not used in the first phase (at the minimum an indicative amount of an indicative budget of € 2 M)

Furthermore, proposals submitted to FF4EuroHPC Call-2 that directly result in a violation of the rules for funding, that is independently of the evaluation results of other proposals submitted to Call-2, will be rejected without further evaluation.

We strongly recommend against last minute submissions and recommend that proposers make use of the option to submit and update draft proposals throughout the period in which the call is open. Proposal submission after the deadline will not be possible.

Successful proposals will be included in the FF4EuroHPC Project as clearly defined activities within the project and new participants will be included as Third Parties contracted by the FF4EuroHPC Coordinator, the University of Stuttgart. All organisations that are eligible to participate within the H2020 framework programme would be expected to be accepted for participation as Third Parties in FF4EuroHPC.

If the SME end user company was already involved in prior Fortissimo projects or received funding through other European Commission R&D funding programs, the proposal would need to make a strong case for the innovation aspects of the proposed experiment. Priority will be given to consortia centred on SMEs that are new to the use of advanced HPC services.

The FF4EuroHPC open calls are open to proposals that address business challenges from European SMEs from varied application domains, with a strong preference being given to engineering and manufacturing, or sectors able to demonstrate fast economic growth or particular economic impact for Europe.

The FF4EuroHPC experiments will not be restricted to collaboration with the HPC Centres within FF4EuroHPC[1] and collaboration with the new HPC Competence Centres [2] (and deploying the HPC systems of that extended set) will be prioritised.

The expectation is that the consortium for the new experiment includes all necessary partners for the execution of the experiment. Proposers are encouraged to include a European HPC Centre within the consortium. The coordinator of the experiment should be chosen to best meet the needs of the coordination of the activities to be performed within the experiment.

With respect to the objective to promote a widening of the HPC user base amongst European SMEs, FF4EuroHPC seeks to achieve a broad geographical distribution of participants. In particular, SMEs based in countries with previous HPC adoption at a low level are encouraged to submit a proposal and may expect to be assisted by their national HPC Competence Centre.


[1] The FF4EuroHPC beneficiaries eligible to participate in experiments are CESGA, CINECA and HLRS (U.Stuttgart)

[2] For more info see the EuroCC website: https://www.eurocc-project.eu/

No. As mentioned elsewhere, all proposed experiments should address the business challenges of one or several European SMEs and the experiment consortia should include those partners necessary for the effective execution of the proposed workplan. Those supporting partners might include software/technology providers, HPC resource providers, HPC or application domain experts.

The maximum EC funding expected to be allocated to an individual experiment is € 200,000. However, that is a maximum figure and the proposal evaluators will be asked to pay attention to the planned resources (effort & budget) being commensurate with the stated objectives of the experiment.

The funding of Third Parties must follow the same principles as used for beneficiaries of FF4EuroHPC, which receives European Commission funding within the R&D&I programme of the EuroHPC Joint Undertaking. In particular, Third Parties will receive 100% funding of incurred eligible costs.

The details of funding rules that will be applied can be found in the annotated model grant agreement for the Horizon 2020 programme:

https://ec.europa.eu/research/participants/data/ref/h2020/grants_manual/amga/h2020-amga_en.pdf

However, key aspects to be noted are that the eligible costs include:  

  • Direct personnel costs for personnel contributing to the application experiment activities.
  • Other direct costs for items such as: travel and subsistence; invoiced computing services; depreciation costs of equipment needed for execution of the experiment;  costs of internally invoiced computing services (directly used for the application experiment).
  • Indirect Costs calculated as a flate rate of 25% of eligible direct costs (with certain exceptions, but including the items under a) & b) above).

 

The maximum funding that can be allocated to any Third Party, aggregated across all FF4EuroHPC open calls and experiments in which that Third Party is involved is € 150,000.

Dependent organisations, as defined by the H2020 rules for participants,  are to be considered as a single third party when considering the limit of 150 K€ funding that may be provided.

While the participation of certain FF4EuroHPC beneficiaries in experiments is eligible, the funding for their activities in experiments is not included within the budget for experiments.

Note: the costs for use of HPC resources must be included in the proposal budget; FF4EuroHPC will not be in a position to provide computing resources.

The new application experiments should provide innovative HPC based solutions to business challenges from European SMEs from different application domains. Applications from the engineering and manufacturing sector or other sectors that are able to demonstrate fast economic growth will be preferred. As previously mentioned, priority will be given to experiments that are driven by the requirements of first-time HPC users. Proposals should clearly identify their alignment with these targets.

Proposed experiments should complement those already included in the past Fortissimo and Fortissimo 2 projects and those selected for funding though FF4EuroHPC Call-1. In this context, complementarity is understood to mean activities that address new applications, business cases, industrial sectors and market segments and enhance the project’s ability to demonstrate the impact of the Fortissimo approach for a broad set of industrial users. Extensions of past experiments are thus not considered to be complementary.

Yes. The provision of access to, and use of, high-performance computing is central to FF4EuroHPC. The expectation for the experiments is that they demonstrate the impact of solving SME business challenges through the use of HPC systems or advanced HPC services. Proposals should present the actual need for HPC resources by describing in sufficient detail the type of computational methods to be used and the relevant sizes of models or data.

There are no formal restrictions on the number of proposals in which an organisation may participate. The selection of proposals will take the range of industrial sectors addressed by the set of all submitted proposals into account. The geographical distribution of experiments, and the country of origin of participating SMEs in particular, will be a factor in that assessment. The funding restriction for individual organisations (a maximum aggregated funding of an organisation by the project of € 150,000) must of course be taken into account.

Each experiment will hold a kick-off meeting which all participants are expected to attend. Further experiment-internal meetings, whose attendance and frequency depend on the work plan, are anticipated. As a guide, two such experiment-internal meetings are to be expected. Furthermore, a representative of the experiment should participate in a cross-experiment workshop (in the early-phase of the experiment) and the partner(s) able to present the business impact of the experiment are expected to attend one FF4EuroHPC review meeting. Participation in a project-wide workshop for experiments should also be included in budgetary plans. However, because of the ongoing Covid-19 situation, it is expected that most meetings will be held as online meetings.

The target is for the new experiments to commence beginning of March in 2022. We expect to be able to communicate the results of the evaluation of proposals by the end of January 2022.

Please direct any questions regarding  open calls to 

The new application experiments should provide innovative HPC based solutions to business challenges from European SMEs from different application domains. Applications from the engineering and manufacturing sector or other sectors that are able to demonstrate fast economic growth will be preferred. The highest priority is given to proposals that directly address the business challenges of manufacturing SMEs. It should also be noted that research-focused business models are not within the scope of Call-2, even though a high European scientific and societal impact might be demonstrated.

As previously mentioned, priority will be given to experiments that are driven by the requirements of first-time HPC users. Proposals should clearly identify their alignment with these targets.