• Research,

START COMPUTE 2018: launch of the Start Up HPC Challenge

Calling all start-ups, small and medium-sized businesses in the west of France: take the opportunity to win high performance computing hours by taking part in the START COMPUTE Start-Up HPC Challenge. The winner will receive project support including training, assistance and use of the Centrale Nantes Supercomputer for 1 year.

From July 2, 2018 to October 5, 2018 All day

Centrale Nantes’ High Performance Computing Institute (ICI) is equipped with one of the most powerful regional tier-2 supercomputers in academia in France (the most powerful in the Pays de la Loire region), and staffed with internationally-recognized high performance computing specialists. The START COMPUTE challenge offers the winning projects access to this state-of-the-art equipment along with expert support.

Expert support for the winning project

The ICI’s researchers and engineers will be right at the heart of the winning project’s development. The team will provide dedicated support throughout an entire year thus helping the challenge winner to accelerate their design process as well as to optimize their products..

Challenge Schedule

2 July: Challenge launches
24 August: Applications close
14 September: Shortlist is published
5 October: Pitch and prize-giving




Numerous customers have made use of the supercomputer’s resources since 2016 to advance their projects. Among them, the IRT Jules Verne with two key projects in shipbuilding and aeronautics. To date, they have used 2 million computing hours. Nextflow-Software, a startup incubated at Centrale Nantes, which develops software for optimizing ship hull performance, and INSERM’s ITUN, Institute of Transplantation - Urology – Nephrology, are also among the partners who have benefitted from ICI supercomputer hours.

A brief introduction to high performance computing

High performance computing is a key factor when it comes to addressing tomorrow’s challenges: global warming, fight against disease, industrial innovation, artificial intelligence. Faced with growing volumes of available digital data, it can calculate faster with data of ever increasing volumes and reduce testing costs. High performance computing makes it easier to optimize performance and it boosts creativity and exploration of new solutions. Computing capabilities are also a reliable indicator of a region, or even a nation’s research and development.

In the hypercompetitive supercomputer sector, France is one of the few countries to hold a significant place in the world’s top 500 most powerful supercomputers (18 out of 500 systems, as of June 2018). The most powerful French supercomputer – the Bull/ATOS Tera 1000 machine at the CEA - is ranked 14th today.

Published on July 3, 2018 Updated on July 3, 2018