BSC-CNS Newsletter March 2024

Barcelona Supercomputing Center - Newsletter

BSC to demonstrate the power of supercomputing at the MWC

BSC had a prominent presence at the 2024 edition of the Mobile World Congress (MWC), as we were represented with two large installations in the spaces of the Generalitat de Catalunya and Mobile World Capital Barcelona. We also presented 25 technologies developed at the centre to show how supercomputing is essential today to advance science and engineering. Ten of our spin-offs were exhibited in the BSC space at 4YFN, the event dedicated to technology start-ups.

BSC launches Aina Challenge, the first official call for artificial intelligence projects in Catalan

The Government of Catalonia will fund up to 22 projects from companies in the artificial intelligence (AI) and language technologies sector that develop and improve natural language AI applications in Catalan with a total amount of €1 million. The announcement was made at the MWC. The first edition of the Aina Challenge has a twofold objective: to promote the development and improvement of AI applications for natural language processing in Catalan and to also promote the development of a powerful sector of AI and TL applications with the country's startups and SMEs.

BSC spin-off Qilimanjaro Quantum Tech named world's best digital startup at MWC

The spin-off of the BSC Qilimanjaro Quantum Tech was chosen as the best digital startup in the world at the 4FYN Awards event, a global startup competition aimed at finding emerging technology companies from around the world, and is the highest recognition offered exclusively to startups at the MWC in Barcelona.Qilimanjaro was selected as the winner after a pitch competition by a jury of investors, business executives, entrepreneurs, government officials and the general public.

AI technology to improve treatment of rare diseases

An international team of scientists led by ICREA researcher and Director of the Life Sciences Department at the BSC, Alfonso Valencia, has developed a technology based on artificial intelligence (AI) for the study of minority diseases and has successfully applied it to identify the possible causes of the appearance of what are known as myasthenic-congenital syndromes, a group of rare inherited disorders that limit the ability to move and cause varying degrees of muscle weakness in patients.

BSC and IrsiCaixa create a cancer vaccination system that reduces melanoma progression

A new study published in the Journal of Translational Medicine and conducted by IrsiCaixa AIDS Research Institute and BSC has developed a computer algorithm optimized for selecting highly immunogenic neoantigens. The scientific team utilized this new algorithm in preclinical models of melanoma to design vaccines based on Virus-Like Particles (VLPs), and they observed a slower progression of tumour growth as well as improved survival.

BSC, CNIO and Lilly collaborate to advance our knowledge of pancreatic cancer

BSC has signed a collaboration agreement with the CNIO and Lilly Spain's R&D centre to deepen our understanding of pancreatic cancer. Discovering the causes of the tumour, identifying markers that help predict which patients may respond to current treatments and favouring new therapies are the objectives of this project. Alfonso Valencia, Director of the Life Sciences Department: "AI algorithms allow us to identify specific biomarkers indicative of treatment response or prognosis in pancreatic cancer".

Candida evolution disclosed: BSC study provides new insights into fungal infections

The work by BSC and IRB Barcelona’s Comparative Genomics lab, which has been published in the journal Nature Microbiology, reveals both known and novel genetic variants associated with drug resistance, offering potential targets for improved antifungal therapies. “This work highlights how these pathogens adapted to humans and antifungal drugs and provides valuable knowledge that could lead to better treatments for Candida infections,” explains Dr. Gabaldón, head of the Comparative Genomics lab.

BSC predicts that global-mean temperature could reach the 1.5ºC warming level threshold in 2024

2023 has been confirmed as the hottest year on record, with global average temperatures exceeding pre-industrial conditions by 1.48°C, as stated by the Copernicus Programme of the European Union. Climate scientists from BSC, based on the BSC decadal forecast system, were capable of predicting a year ago that 2023 had a high probability of being the warmest year on record. Combining the past 10 years of observations and the 10-year BSC forecasts, the mean of the 20-year period 2014-2033 is 1.41±0.05ºC, indicating that we are on the brink of breaching the Paris Agreement.

BSC contributes to the study of interactions between climate change and dengue emergence

An international team of scientists including BSC researcher Rachel Lowe published an article in Nature Communications about the effects of climatic and socio-environmental drivers on dengue incidence in Vietnam. They found that temperature is the dominant climate driver of geographical and seasonal patterns of dengue. In contrast, they found that the effects of precipitation extremes depended strongly on the local socioeconomic conditions, particularly access to piped water, and that forecast tools may need to account for these complexities to inform dengue prevention better.

BSC researchers improve access to Earth observation data for a successful end to the CALLISTO project

BSC researchers have taken a significant step towards enhancing access to Earth Observation (EO) data and related services as part of the EU-funded CALLISTO project. This three-year collaboration saw the BSC´s Data-Centric Computing team optimize frameworks used in the CALLISTO big data platform. These optimizations were tested in agriculture and land control use cases and yielded an 80x speed-up in information retrieval and cost savings through the more efficient use of HPC resources that take advantage of artificial intelligence technology.

The We Are Young Women Researchers program is spreading across Spain

The great success of the programme over the last few years has encouraged BSC to consider adapting the materials and exporting it to the rest of the country, as part of the activities of the Spanish Supercomputing Network (RES) and the EuroCC_Spain National Center of Excellence. In a first phase, Scayle, (León), successfully adopted this initiative and a pilot was carried out by BIFI (Zaragoza). This is the largest educational programme in Spain to encourage, especially among girls, interest in supercomputing and scientific and technological vocations.

Ocean simulations created with MareNostrum, in the new mapping at Casa Batlló

BSC has collaborated with the Argentinian digital artist Sofia Crespo in the creation of the mapping 'Structures of Being', which was projected on the façade of Casa Batlló, an emblematic building on Barcelona's Passeig de Gràcia designed by Antoni Gaudí. BSC has contributed high-resolution models of ocean circulation to the piece, extracted from the Destination Earth project, an initiative that plans to develop a complete virtual replica of planet Earth to predict the effects of climate change.

BSC wins 2023 Ciutat de Barcelona Award for Experimental Sciences and Technology

The majority of the Ciutat de Barcelona 2023 Prize Jury has decided to award the Ciutat de Barcelona Prize for Experimental Sciences and Technology to BSC for the innovative design of the architecture of the new MareNostrum 5 supercomputer and its implementation, which keeps the city of Barcelona as an international benchmark in high-performance computing.

BSC, Premi Talent 2024 in the Technological Sovereignty category

BSC has been awarded the Premi Talent 2024 prize in the Technological Sovereignty category by the Fundació Impulsa Talentum, for "becoming a European benchmark in the field of supercomputing, one of the most important contributions to the country's university and research system, which is constantly being renewed and expanded, positioning it as a fundamental tool for the scientific positioning of our country".

Coming up
13 MAR 2024 BSC Training Course: Performance Analysis and Tools Location: Online via Zoom
20 MAR 2024 BSC Training Course: Heterogeneous Programming on GPUs with MPI & OmpSs Location: C6-E101, UPC Campus Nord, Barcelona
20 MAR 2024 Sparse linear solver for transistor-level circuit simulation (SORS/WomeninBSC) Location: Severo Ochoa Room, Capella, BSC
22 MAR 2024 BSC Training Course: Heterogeneous Programming on FPGAs with OmpSs@FPGA Location: C6-E101, UPC Campus Nord, Barcelona
02 APR 2024 The letter A: let's talk about asexuality Location: [HYBRID] BSC Auditorium and Zoom
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