Press Releases

Toronto, Ontario – January 9, 2017 – The Canada Foundation for Innovation announced today its award of $69,455,000 through its Major Science Initiative Fund for the Compute Canada project. This award will be used to continue the operation of the national advanced research computing platform that serves more than 10,000 researchers at universities, post-secondary institutions and research institutions across Canada.

“Compute Canada provides the advanced research computing and big data services required for today’s research endeavours. This infrastructure has transformed the way the world conducts scientific and engineering research. Supercomputing has enabled discovery, insight and development in ways we once thought were impossible,” says Mark Dietrich, President and CEO of Compute Canada. “This digital infrastructure and the experts that support it are key to extracting value from big data, and enabling the development of a diverse and well-prepared 21st century workforce.”

Supercomputers and other advanced research computing systems are essential infrastructure. They are used around the world to accelerate scientific discovery for national competitiveness and economic success. High performance computing powers discovery and innovation in almost every sector of our Canadian industry and impacts everything from finding disease cures to building environmentally efficient aeroplanes and cars.

The funding was announced today by the Minister of Science, the Honourable Kirsty Duncan, on behalf of the Government of Canada, through the Canada Foundation for Innovation who are investing more than $328 million to more than 17 projects across Canada for the period 2012 to 2017.

The Major Science Initiatives Fund is a program that ensures Canada’s large, complex research facilities that serve communities of researchers have the support they need to continue to operate. More info

SHARCNET has updated its website. Along with the new look and feel, the site is mobile friendly and includes enhanced functionality and navigation. The SHARCNET website is one of our primary communications vehicles and we make extensive use of the web portal and wiki for information exchange and interactions among staff and users. Over the next few months, we will be monitoring usage patterns and will update content and menu items accordingly. Users are encouraged to check out the new site and provide feedback.

SHARCNET is issuing a call for proposals for Dedicated Programming Support Round IX. For this round, applications are encouraged that satisfy the programme objectives and priority will be given to proposals that:

  • Propose a programme of work that deals with the efficient processing of large, heterogeneous datasets (“big data”) using a variety of data mining, machine learning or other analytics software.
  • Propose a programme of work that will enable innovative projects from disciplines that are traditionally not major users of HPC.
  • Propose to make novel, effective and large-scale use of non-standard architectures including GPUs, Phi, ARM and FPGAs.

Applications are submitted via SHARCNET’s webportal and are due by November 30, 2016. Consultation with a SHARCNET HPTC prior to submission is required. Note that users must have a SHARCNET webportal account in order to access the online form.

Due to the current workload of SHARCNET programming staff, only a limited number of proposals are expected to be awarded in this round. For additional information, please refer to the application guidelines. Questions should be addressed to

Compute Canada has launched its annual Resource Allocation Competitions (RAC), a peer-reviewed process to grant priority access to Compute Canada’s advanced research computing resources. The two competitions -- the Resources for Research Groups (RRG) Competition and the Research Platforms and Portals (RPP) Competition -- are open to Canadian research projects from all disciplines (Note: RPP applications are by invitation from its Notice of Intent (NOI) stage). The allocations of compute and storage resources are awarded based on scientific merit, quality of the research team, and development of highly-qualified personnel (HQP).

“While many research groups can meet their needs through our Rapid Access Service (RAS), our Resource Allocation Competitions (RAC) are aimed at individuals and research groups who require compute and storage resources beyond what RAS provides,” says Dugan O’Neil, Compute Canada Chief Science Officer. “Compute Canada’s resources are behind many of today’s scientific milestones -- from measuring gravitational waves in space to breaking new ground in artificial intelligence -- and our RAC process helps ensure Canada’s top researchers have access to the resources they need to continue producing excellent science and world-class results.”

Further details on the 2017 Resource Allocation Competitions will be shared in two Q&A Sessions:

English Session
(online only, English presentation with English Q&A)
French Session
(in person, French presentation with bilingual Q&A)
Thursday, October 13
12:00 – 1:30 pm Eastern (EDT)
Location: Online – connection instructions will be emailed to all RSVPs.
Register Online
Friday, October 14
10:00 am – 12:00 pm Eastern (EDT)
Locations: U. Laval, U. de Sherbrooke, U. McGill, and U. de Montréal
Register Online

For more information on the 2017 RAC, visit the Resource Allocation Competitions page on the Compute Canada website or contact More info

Compute Canada is launching an exciting new data visualization challenge this fall called Visualize This. Participants will visualize an Earth Sciences dataset covering the world’s oceans. The dataset will be available for download from the Compute Canada website from October 1-31, with submissions due by midnight Eastern time on October 31.

Participants from all science fields are encouraged to enter. Submissions will be reviewed by the Compute Canada visualization team. Points will be awarded for:

  • interactive visualizations
  • animations
  • visualizing the 3D nature of the data
  • online presentation, and
  • clear innovative display of multiple variables

Prizes include high-capacity SSD drives or up to $1,000 towards registration and travel to HPCS 2017, Canada’s premier Advanced Research Computing (ARC) conference, hosted by Queen’s University in Kingston, ON (June 5-9, 2017). The top visualizations will also be showcased on the Compute Canada website and in Compute Canada’s booth at Supercomputing 2016 in Salt Lake City in November.

Want to participate in the “Visualize This” challenge? The first step is to indicate your interest here. Shortly before October 1, all registrants will be emailed a link to the competition dataset and the connection details for a Q&A Session on September 27. If you have any questions, please contact

Each fall, through its annual Resource Allocation Competitions, Compute Canada hosts a Call for Proposals process for allocations of compute or storage resources. The 2017 Competitions kicked off on September 1st as Compute Canada launched the first stage of its Research Platforms and Portals (RPP) Competition, targeted specifically at applications that create new or support existing research platforms or portals.

Groups are encouraged to consider applying to the RPP Competition if their submission falls within any of the following categories:

  • Resources requested on behalf of a large community of users that will be reallocated to individuals and small groups following the award.
  • Applications that provide a public platform that will make use of Compute Canada computing or storage.
  • Groups engaging in international agreements to provide multi-year computing or storage solutions based in Canada.
  • Groups that are providing shared data sets accessible using a third party (non-Compute Canada) interface.

Allocations in the RPP Competition may be awarded over multiple years, up to a maximum of three years.

More Information:
For more information on the RPP Competition and other resource competitions for 2017, please visit Compute Canada’s Resource Allocation Competitions page. If you have questions about whether your resource needs fit within the RPP Competition, please contact

Compute Canada has put out a call to name the four new national computing systems. This is our chance to put our stamp on those names, especially the two systems which will be hosted within Ontario — a large parallel system based out of the University of Toronto and a general purpose system at the University of Waterloo.

Submission Guidelines:
The names should be Canadian and work bilingually to reflect the national scope of these systems (you do not need to translate them). It’s an opportunity to promote and reflect some key Canadian attributes, such as our unique culture, landscape and geography, history and heritage as well as key scientific or research accomplishments. The name should also reflect strength, unbridled potential, discovery, new frontiers, power and exploration. We would like to include and consider aboriginal themes as well as female scientific accomplishments in Canada as we might be the first with a named prize or infrastructure installation celebrating these areas in research.

Email your suggestions to by August 12th. More info

SHARCNET’s Weiguang Guan was recognized as a Compute Canada Award of Excellence recipient at a gala event held at the 2016 High Performance Computing Symposium (HPCS) conference in Edmonton, Alberta. Mark Dietrich, President and CEO at Compute Canada, announced the latest recipients of this year’s awards in recognition of outstanding support provided to the Canadian research community.

Weiguang is based out of McMaster University providing HPC support specializing in visualization and data analysis programming. Congratulations Weiguang! More info