High Performance Computing (HPC) Wales was launched in 2010 as a five year joint venture between Wales’ six Universities, working in partnership with a variety of academic and industrial stakeholders and funded by the EU, UK and Welsh Governments. The aim of HPC Wales is to deliver a pan-Wales HPC infrastructure: primarily to assist with economic regeneration in the Principality of Wales (which has a population of approximately 3.6 million) through the up-skilling of individuals and by promoting uptake of HPC in Welsh businesses, but also open to collaborations from outside Wales. It is the first national service of its kind in Europe.
In order to encourage the uptake of HPC into small and medium sized enterprises (of up to 250 staff) in Wales, and for HPC Wales itself to become a sustainable business, the development of a strong skills base is vital. Successful delivery will be marked by the successful upskilling of individuals via accredited training programmes, and through outreach and engagement activities. Recognising that a significant amount of upskilling is required, further work is being undertaken by HPC Wales to develop workflows which can help to simplify the HPC job submission process for the end user. This will make it possible for businesses to achieve results without their needing to acquire a high level of specialist HPC skills in the short term.
At a mid-point in this ambitious venture, this paper examines the strategies being developed by HPC Wales which will help to ensure propagation throughout the educational chain so that the requisite skills and workflows are in place which will benefit the next-generation workforce. Through this, HPC Wales hopes to assist in the overall advancement of scientific discovery which will, in turn, help Welsh businesses to become more competitive in the global marketplace.