BSC-Repsol, awarded one of the Research Awards

04 December 2019

The ceremony for the 2018 Awards granted by the Catalonian government and the Catalan Foundation for Research and Innovation took place yesterday.

The Government of Catalonia and the Catalan Foundation for Research and Innovation (FCRi) have awarded the Repsol – BSC Research Center joint center with the National public-private R+D Award 2018. The awards ceremony, presided by the President of the Catalan Government, Quim Torra, took place on December 3rd, in the Teatre Nacional de Catalunya, in Barcelona.

Mateo Valero, director of the Barcelona Supercomputing Center - Centro Nacional de Supercomputación (BSC-CNS), José M. Cela, director of the CASE (Computer Applications in Science and Engineering) department and Antonio Brufau, president of Repsol, received the award.

Mateo Valero highlighted the fact that science should help to solve society problems: “BSC bases its success in its relevant research, and the best example of collaboration is with Repsol. We have shown that we can help Repsol to be more competitive and to generate wealth, so it can contribute to the improvement of society as well”.

José María Cela emphasized the fact that energy is a fundamental good for our society and that “all the collaboration between Repsol and the BSC is geared towards developing technology that allows to obtain more sustainable energy sources, economically viable and able to cover the demands of our society, following the company's decarbonization policy. Only a sustained effort in R+D during the following years will allow us to reach these objectives”.

Repsol’s president, Antonio Brufau, highlighted the importance that the joint work of both institutions means for the company, emphasizing the fact that “public-private collaboration has made possible the implementation of the latest technological advances and developments in an energy industry in which technology and innovation are key to address the challenge of energy transition and the fight against climate change. The best way to deal with the challenge we are facing is through cooperation and scientific knowledge”.

This award highlights the long collaboration history in the field of research in underground visualization technologies between both institutions.

The National Research Awards, granted by the Government of Catalonia and the Catalan Foundation for Research and Innovation, foster the social acknowledgment of science and the work of researchers, patrons, entrepreneurs, and communicators.

BSC-Repsol collaboration

In 2010, after the success of the Kaleidoscope project, which dealt with the implementation of a software for the discovery of hydrocarbons based on innovative technologies for the analysis of subsoils with difficult access, especially those on sea floors, BSC and Repsol decided to create a joint research center: Repsol-BSC Research Center. Its objective was to face geophysical problems in hydrocarbon prospecting, as well as a wide range of other challenges that need high performance computation of interest for Repsol, such as the development of new aviation fuels that significantly reduce air transport emissions. This type of challenges requires a multidisciplinary group made by engineers and researchers in the geophysical, Information Technologies and telecommunications fields, which in the case of the Repsol-BSC Research Center has been led from the very beginning by the director of the Computer Applications in Science and Engineering department, José María Cela.

In another collaboration area between BSC and Repsol and its Foundation, there is also the construction of a new building, which will host the facilities of the research center, located next to the chapel of Torre Girona in Barcelona. The new building will house the future big computer room, where the BSC supercomputing infrastructures will be located, as well as an important part of the MareNostrum 5.

BSC plays a key role in boosting the use of supercomputing in public-private research. It has promoted and coordinated the Spanish Supercomputing Network and it is a first-level member of the PRACE initiative (Partnership for Advanced Computing in Europe).