Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy

Energy Department Announces $3.8 Million for Industry Access to World-Class Supercomputers

August 30, 2016

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The Energy Department today announced $3.8 million for 13 projects to use high performance computing resources at the Department's national laboratories to improve manufacturing. The collaborations will address key challenges in U.S. manufacturing by applying modeling, simulation, and data analysis to manufacturing, with the intent to aid in decision making, optimize processes and design, improve quality and efficiency, predict performance and failure, quicken or eliminate testing, and/or shorten the time for adoption of new energy-related technologies.

Led by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), with Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and Oak Ridge National Laboratory as strong partners, the High Performance Computing for Manufacturing (HPC4Mfg) program brings together world-class supercomputers and scientific expertise at the national labs with U.S. manufacturers to address technical challenges related to energy and manufacturing. This approach allows partnering organizations to access high performance computing (HPC), broadens its use to support advanced clean energy manufacturing, and improves our nation's economic competiveness in manufacturing.

This effort also advances the Obama Administration's National Strategic Computing Initiative, unveiled in July 2015, which calls for public-private partnerships to increase industrial adoption of high-performance computing.

Each of the 13 newly selected projects will receive up to $300,000 to support research performed by the national lab partners and allow the partners to run HPC compute cycles. Partners range from small to large companies, industry consortiums, and institutes. By using HPC in the design and development of products and manufacturing processes, U.S. manufacturers can reap a number of benefits such as accelerating innovation, lowering energy costs, shortening testing time, reducing waste, and cutting the time to market.

View the 13 project descriptions on the HPC4Mfg website.

LLNL established HPC4Mfg in March 2015, launched four "seedling" projects, and put in place a program governance model. Lawrence Berkeley and Oak Ridge National Laboratories joined in September 2015 to support the Phase 1 merit-based solicitation, which was announced by the Department of Energy at the American Energy and Manufacturing Competitiveness Summit in Washington, D.C. The HPC4Mfg program currently supports 16 projects that range from improved turbine blades for aircraft engines and reduced heat loss in electronics to steel-mill energy efficiency and improved fiberglass production. These projects, brought forward by 22 industry partners, total more than $10 million in total funding. The Phase 2 solicitation was announced in March 2016.

The Advanced Manufacturing Office within the Department's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy supports this program. The Advanced Scientific Computing Research Program within DOE's Office of Science supports the program with HPC cycles through its Leadership Computing Challenge allocation program.

As the HPC4Mfg program continues, it is anticipated that there will be two rounds of proposals sought each year, one in the spring and the other in the fall.