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Researchers building platforms or portals to serve the needs of a community of users are invited to apply to Compute Canada’s 2016 Research Platforms and Portals (RPP) competition, which grants access to computing and storage resources on Compute Canada’s systems.

Introduced in 2014, the RPP competition is targeted at applications that use platforms or portals to improve access to shared datasets, enhance existing online research tools and facilities, or advance national or international research collaborations. Resource allocations in this competition may be awarded over multiple years, up to a maximum of three years. The RPP competition is open to any researcher based at a Canadian academic institution who is eligible to apply for funding to the federal granting agencies.

The RPP competition is delivered in two stages:

  1. Letter of Intent (LOI) Stage
    This stage is non-competitive and used to ensure project alignment with the RPP competition rules. Submissions are generally one page, providing a high-level summary of the project’s rationale, operation and scope.
  2. Full Application Stage
    Successful LOIs will be invited to submit a Full Application. This stage requires further details on the requested Compute Canada resources, operation and management of the platform or portal, and the anticipated impacts and opportunities.

Groups are encouraged to use the RPP competition if their application 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.
  • Recipients of the Major Science Initiative from the Canada Foundation for Innovation.
  • Groups that are providing shared data sets accessible using a third party (non-Compute Canada) interface.

Full criteria details and submission guidelines are available in the RPP Competition Guide. Letters of Intent due by August 13, 2015. More info



Compute Canada is pleased to announce its two pairs of scholarships for the 2015 Digital Humanities Summer Institute (DHSI) have been awarded to Gurpreet Singh, a graduate student at the University of Lethbridge, and his co-applicant James Desjardins, a SHARCNET High Performance Computing Consultant at Brock University; and Jonathan Armoza, a graduate student at McGill University, and his co-applicant Félix-Antoine Fortin, a Calcul Québec HPC Analyst at Université Laval. More info



SHARCNET is pleased to announce the results of its Round VI Dedicated Programming Support competition. The primary objectives of this program are to enable key research projects with the potential for exceptional and lasting impact that require significant programming support to proceed, and facilitate optimal exploitation of SHARCNET’s or Compute Canada’s computing infrastructure for internationally leading research.

In this Round, programmer allocations have been made to the following researchers:

  • Susan Brown, School of English and Theatre Studies, University of Guelph
  • Ziad Kobti, School of Computer Science, University of Windsor
  • Ranil Sonnadara, Department of Surgery, McMaster University
  • Isaac Tamblyn, Faculty of Science, University of Ontario Institute of Technology

SHARCNET plans to run another competition later this year. Please visit the DP website for more information. Congratulations to our Round VI awardees!



On May 21, 2015, Conestoga College hosted Compute Ontario Research Day at their newest campus in Cambridge. By all accounts, this year’s event was one of our most successful with over 120 attendees, 4 invited speakers, 16 contributed talks and 14 poster presentations. We were very pleased by the level of student participation, and want to extend a special congratulations to the “best-of” student winners: Grigoriy Kimaev for best student contributed presentation, and Tanyakarn Treeratanaphitak for best student poster presentation. Both students are from the University of Waterloo.

This conference is the preeminent provincial high performance computing event at which professors, postdoctoral, graduate, and undergraduate students gather to learn about each other’s high performance computing related work. CORD2015 was a collaborative event organized by the Ontario HPC consortia, SHARCNET, SciNet, and HPCVL and the host site, Conestoga College.

We also want to thank our sponsors, Compute Canada, Compute Ontario, and ORION, for making this event possible and supporting outreach to the HPC research community.



SHARCNET is pleased to release its latest Spring 2015 newsletter issue, which is available online.

Upcoming events are highlighted including Compute Ontario Research Day (CORD) which will be held on May 21st at Conestoga College and our annual, week-long installment of HPC Summer School. You can also read more about SHARCNET’s recently launched YouTube channel, which showcases our popular webinar recordings.

Users are encouraged to check the SHARCNET website for more information on upcoming events and activities, or watch for our monthly community update which is emailed to our general mailing list. You can also follow us on twitter.



Planning for HPC Summer School 2015 is underway. Summer School (west) which will be held at Western University, London, Ontario from May 25-29th. This five day summer school includes lectures and labs on programming distributed and multicore systems and various topics pertaining to scientific computing. Attendees will learn how to program distributed memory systems--networked computers--known as “clusters”, shared memory multicore systems and GPUs. Attendees will also have a chance to have a review on the basics of computing and techniques as well as software packages for applications in different disciplines.

A long-running event for SHARCNET, Summer School was introduced to users over a decade ago. Summer School is now an Ontario-wide event which is organized in partnership by the three Ontario HPC consortia: SHARCNET, SciNet and HPCVL. Summer School (central) will run from July 13-17 at the University of Toronto, and Queen’s University will run Summer School (east) from July 27-31. Note that the courses offered by the three sites may be slightly different. Please check the site specific programmes for details.

While there is no fee to attend Summer School, registration is required.



SHARCNET is issuing a new call for proposals for Dedicated Programming Support. This programme provides support for computational projects of exceptional potential that will have lasting impact and value and that require significant support from SHARCNET to proceed.

For Round VI, applications are encouraged that satisfy the programme objectives and priority will be given to proposals that:

  • Propose to make novel, effective and large-scale use of non-standard architectures especially GP-GPU.
  • Propose to develop innovative visualization applications and techniques that emphasize the visualization of large datasets especially using distributed/parallel visualization/rendering techniques.
  • Propose a programme of work that will enable innovative projects from disciplines that are traditionally not major users of HPC.

Applications are submitted via SHARCNET’s webportal and are due by April 26, 2015. Note that users must have a SHARCNET webportal account in order to access the online form.

For additional information, please refer to the application guidelines. Questions should be addressed to research-support@sharcnet.ca.



Compute Canada and its regional partners (ACENET, Calcul Québec, Compute Ontario and WestGrid) are pleased to announce the institutions nominated to host national advanced research computing (ARC) systems in Compute Canada’s next round of infrastructure funding.

The following institutions have been nominated:

  • LP Site – University of Toronto
  • GP1 Site – University of Victoria
  • GP2 Site – Simon Fraser University
  • GP3 Site – University of Waterloo

The new systems are planned to be fully operational in 2016. The Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) provides significant capital funding for these systems through its Cyberinfrastructure Initiative, in which “Challenge 2” targets the needs of Compute Canada, divided into two stages, one to be decided in 2015, and the next to be decided in 2016. Compute Canada’s operations and management costs are funded through the CFI’s Major Science Initiative (MSI) program, which funds Compute Canada through March 2017. Both of these initiatives (Cyberinfrastructure and MSI) are funded jointly by the CFI, provinces and institutions.

With a total project cost of up to $37.5M, Challenge 2 Stage 1 funding targets the most “pressing and urgent” ARC needs of Canadian researchers. The majority of current Compute Canada systems are already at or beyond their nominal 5-year lifespan. Aging systems lead to increased operational costs due to less energy efficiency, increased likelihood of system failure and increased warranty costs on key components. These systems are not as well-adapted to modern scientific usage as the new systems will be. As such, the focus of this renewal funding is on replacement of existing capacity and to “address the most pressing immediate needs.”

For more information on Compute Canada’s technical plan, a summary document is available. More info