Welcome to BSC!

Who we are?

Barcelona Supercomputing Center-Centro Nacional de Supercomputación (BSC-CNS) is the national supercomputing centre in Spain. We specialise in high performance computing (HPC) and manage MareNostrum, one of the most powerful supercomputers in Europe, located in the Torre Girona chapel.

BSC works at the service of the international scientific community that requires HPC resources. Our multidisciplinary research team and our computational facilities –including MareNostrum– make BSC an international centre of excellence in e-Science.

Since its establishment in 2005, BSC has developed an active role in fostering HPC in Spain and Europe as an essential tool for international competitiveness in science and engineering. The centre manages the Red Española de Supercomputación (RES), and is a hosting member of the Partnership for Advanced Computing in Europe (PRACE) initiative. We actively participate in the main European HPC initiatives, in close cooperation with other European supercomputing centres.

With a total staff of more than 500 R&D experts and professionals, BSC has been successful in attracting talent, and our research focuses on four fields: Computer Sciences, Life Sciences, Earth Sciences and Computer Applications in Science and Engineering.

Most of BSC's research lines are developed within the framework of European Union research funding programmes, and the centre also does basic and applied research in collaboration with leading companies such as IBM, Microsoft, Intel, Nvidia, Repsol and Iberdrola. The quality of our research has been recognized by the Spanish government with the Severo Ochoa Excellence Centre grant for cutting edge Spanish science.

HPC-Europa experience in BSC

BSC has participated in HPC-Europa program since its origins and has hosted more than 380 visitors in the last two editions. Over the four-year lifespan of HPC-Europa3 project (2017-2021), we expect to host 220 researchers in Barcelona.

BSC offers to their users a unique European research environment as well as technical support:

  • BSC has a highly qualified team of Parallel Computing specialists that can assist users in developing, monitoring and evaluating parallel software that meets their specific research needs.
  • BSC offers a very special environment to users. We are physically located in the centre of the largest University campus in Catalunya, with more than 100.000 students. Therefore, within a small area it is possible to find a considerable number of University Departments with High Performance Computing needs and a deep implication in top research topics.
  • BSC has a long experience in hosting scientists from different research environments and specialties. This allows technical staff to know about a wide variety of applications and to be able to give support to users easily.

On the other hand, BSC Computer Science researchers leads the research activity within the HPC-Europa3 project dedicated to container-as-a-service for HPC. Its objective is to evaluate container technologies (e.g. Docker, Singularity, Shifter, etc.) for supercomputers and HPC environments. This will provide a flexible framework to execute portable, user-customized, scientific applications to a number of HPC facilities while maintaining their performance. BSC researchers have previous experience in container technologies as proven by their involvement in projects dedicated to this topic, such as EUBRA-BIGSEA, and in their close collaboration with leading IT companies. 

BSC offers to visitors

  • Funding: HPC-Europa3 will cover the travel and accommodation expenses up to a certain limit recommended by the project. We will also provide visitor’s daily allowance and will cover local transport expenses.
  • Access to HPC Infrastructure: All visitors will have access to BSC supercomputing facilities. For each visitor there are 40.000 AUs available on Marenostrum. Each visitor will also be granted with at least 10Gb of space in their personal Home.
  • Scientific support: we recommend visitors to contact hosts before preparing the application and collaborate with them to write the research proposal. During the visit, the host will provide a workspace and access to a terminal, and will integrate the visitor in the everyday life of the host department. This scheme involves a close interaction and assures that the visitor receives a valuable scientific support.
  • Technical support: BSC technical staff has a broad experience in dealing with large installation systems management as well as helping scientists to improve their software performance.
  • Logistical support: the local Transnational Access Visits coordinator will contact all accepted visitors and their hosts to provide them practical information about how to organize the visit. Some weeks before the visit, visitors will receive instructions to get a user account at BSC facilities. We will also provide logistical day-to-day support and assistance to the visitor making the visit as efficient as possible.
  • Accommodation: the accommodation during the visit should be arranged in cooperation with the host research group. BSC does not have guest houses for visitors, but we collaborate with the Barcelona Housing Service to help visitors to find accommodation. This is a highly recommended service as it has a great deal of experience in locating rooms, apartments and flats for visitors. Another option is student residences. They offer economical accommodation for short and longer stays. The nearest student residence to BSC is Residencia Torre Girona.    

Training

PRACE, the Partnership for Advanced Computing in Europe, appointed BSC as one of the first PRACE Advanced Training Centre (PATC), thus making us a key driver of European high-performance computing education. The mission of the PRACE Advanced Training Centres (PATCs) is to carry out and coordinate training and education activities that enable the European research community to use the computational infrastructure available through PRACE.

Researchers visiting BSC can attend PATC courses, which are free of charge. Students will benefit from theoretical and hands-on sessions, communication with internationally renowned instructors and access to the best computing resources of Europe.

In addition, BSC offers technical trainings in the context of the Education Programme on Parallel Programming using CUDA and other HPC related courses and lectures. In BSC website you can find the agenda of all the training events.

Living in Barcelona

Barcelona is the capital of Catalonia and has more than 1.5 million inhabitants. Barcelona is a modern, cosmopolitan and very dynamic city. Its metropolitan area is the sixth largest in the European Union in terms of population, with more than five million inhabitants. Barcelona is one of the most visited city in Europe and the main reasons are its mild weather, the beach and gastronomy. However, it also offers many cultural activities for visitors and the most impressive Modernist buildings.

At the links below, you will find useful information about the city:

You can find information about all the paperwork needed to start living in Barcelona in the “Welcome to Barcelona – Practical guide”.

Contact us

For general questions, please contact the European coordinators of HPC-Europa3 Transnational Access Programme at staff@hpc-europa.org.

For logistic questions related to visiting BSC under HPC-Europa3, you can contact the local TA visit coordinator at HPC-europa.hosting@bsc.es.

For technical questions about HPC infrastructure in BSC, you can contact the support team at support@bsc.es.