Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Basque Country Internationalization - Analysis

The report (in spanish) published by the ESADE business school's Spanish Multinational Corportarions Observatory (OEME), highlights the Basque Country amongst as the second most internationalize regions in Spain.

The sectors are: Energy, Banking, and highly specialized assets -as machinery, aeronautics and others-.

The report in Spanish here:

OEME Second Annual Report

Basque founded Elecnor - An Engineering Success

Elecnor SA (Electrificaciones del Norte - literally Northen Electrification Works) was founded on 6 June 1958 and it was headquartered in Bilbao (Rodriguez Arias road) before moving to Madrid.

It is a complete unknown for the press, silent but extremely effective engineering firm that counts with direct foreign investment. However the chairman's -Mr. Fernando Azaola Arteche- roots are basque and much of the basque origins still remains as Economy and Finance, and Human Resources are still headquartered in Bilbao.

The Elecnor Group has many subsidiaries: "Elecnor, S.A. is the head of a group of subsidiaries engaging in various business activities which compose, together with it, the ELECNOR Group".

Elecnor's most impressive achievement is nowadays the "successful placement in orbit of the Deimos-1 satellite, Europe’s first, totally private Earth observation satellite.". Pedro Duque -first Spanish astronaut- is the General Director.

Elecnor is a founder member of the Basque Energy Cluster, headquartered in the Basque Country.

More information can be found on their annual report:

Elecnor Annual Report 2009

Friday, December 24, 2010

Relocation Services: Video of Testimonies

The following is a video by Relocation Agency Bizkaia Xede, which helped north american scientist Scott Rapoport relocate to a Biotechnology Company in the Basque Country.

Follow the link here to hear his case.

Economic Analysis: Basque Country

Barcelona based catalan saving bank, laCaixa, has published an extremely report that explains, very clearly some key points of the Basque Economy.

The report, published only in Spanish, it is a very interesting one and it is worth reading if you are fluent in Spanish. It is a 132 pages that talks about key expertise.

Unfortunately this report does not cover some of the newest and most challenging basque initiativies, however it providers a very good background theory and interesting recommendations.

La Caixa Basque Country Economy: strategic analysis

Video: The Basque Center for Applied Mathematics

The following video edited, owned and hosted by the Basque Center for Applied Mathematics, was published today. The video explains the center ambitious and competitive conception.

Bilbao's new urban technology campus welcomes its first guest

The Basque Center for Applied Mathematics, announced today that in the short term they will relocate its headquarters to spain's first urban technology campus: a little island that is being rebuilt right in the center of Bilbao.

180m€ for ESS Bilbao confirmed

It was announced today on the news.

To understand what ESS Bilbao is, please see this video distrubted by them:

ESS Bilbao - Introductory Video from infobasque on Vimeo.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Petroleum, chemical and biofuels research in the Basque Country

Today we just heard that Intertek has opened another research center in Bilbao:

"The new Intertek laboratory will give support to all those companies working in the energy sector, whether at state or European level, collaborating on complex R+D+i projects as well as helping in the compliance with the EU Directives on renewable energies”, stated Mr Ben Fontán, Managing Director of Intertek España.

Read more here and here.

Basque Firm DMP to provide landing gear for Airbus and Boeing

Basque firm DMP announced yesterday that

they would become the "single supplier for the suspension of the three most important programs and volume for the French manufacturer, such as the Boeing 787, A350 and A330 and A340, which share a common train".

We also heard in October that:

"The Spanish company Desarrollos Mecánicos de Precisión (DMP) has signed a contract to produce the shock absorbers for the new Airbus A350 passenger plane."

The engineering department uses:

Computer assisted design (Catia V5, Unigraphics, AutoCAD, etc.). Finite element calculation & simulation (Nastran, Patran & Dytran). Process engineering & CNC programming assisted by CAM systems (Powermill, Unigraphics, etc.). Technical document management, configuration management. Personnel skilled in the development of aeronautical processes. Certification in special processes.

Basque Firm Progenika sources Wikileaks' US critical listed firm Grifols

As per indicated here the agreement is:

"Basque biotechnology company Progenika Biopharma, specialised in the development of personal medicine technology, has granted Grifols exclusive worldwide distribution rights for its BLOODchip® molecular biology product."

"For Victor Grifols, President and CEO of Grifols “this agreement will allow us to strengthen our Diagnostic Division and consolidate our global position in the field of blood grouping with a new innovative tool that increases transfusion safety.”

Grifols was recently listed as part of the Critical Foreign Dependencies Initiative revelated by Wikileaks.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

HOWTO - Transportation - Biarritz to San Sebastian and Bilbao Airport to Bilbao

To get to San Sebastian from those two airports -by BUS-:

NEW LINK between San-Sebastian/Donostia and Biarritz airport is run by Basque transportation firm PESA. Search for the timetable -due to increase- here:

-Choose Origin "Aeropuerto BIARRITZ" for the airport and destination "DONOSTIA-SAN SEBASTIAN" for San Sebastian.

-Same from Bilbao choose "'Aeropuerto LOIU" for Bilbao airport and destination same "DONOSTIA/SAN SEBASTIAN".


There are not combinations -yet- from Biarritz airport to Bilbao.

Fly Biarritz from/to:

AirFrance (Paris Orly - Lyon - Nice - Geneva)
EasyJet (Paris Charles de Gaulle - Lyon - London Gatwick)
RyanAir (London - Dublin - Birmingham - Marseille)
Baboo (Geneva)
Transavia (Amsterdam)

The timetables from Bilbao airport -Loiu- to Bilbao BUS are here:

Choose origin "LOIU(Aeropuerto)" and destination "BILBAO"

Fly Bilbao from/to (check the airliner link) :


Apartments and accomodation for Researchers

In San Sebastian, The Talent House aims to solve one of researchers' and their families' most common problems: accomodation. The House of Talent is an integrated space for researchers that relocate to Basque Country's San Sebastian-Donostia. It is about to be inaugurated.

Further information and applications here.

The video with more promotional details here:

Monday, December 20, 2010

The users' competitive advantage

I was revisiting some of Europe's recent supercomputing centers' achievements. It turns very interesting to see how some of them started to claim the achievements of their users -that is to say external users from another institution, that apply for computing power.

This is indeed a very dangerous problem for newly formed centers: it does not reflect any of their own research! of none of its researchers. To be very clear: these centers have huge costs but research function is not working as it should. Scientific representants in the government or science policy managers which are really pressed by IMF will have to justify this.

Since the begining of this blog I have claimed that this is not the way to go. Today, unfortunately these centers know that they may become target of bailouts.

What makes it even more exceptional is: why when we had money, we though that competing for the TOP500 would give us scientific competitive advantage ? Just for having an F1 chassis, we can run in the F1? Buying computing parts is something ANY government can do.

I believe that in the forthcoming years, we may see some of these baby places merging or disappearing in favour of places that DO real science or engineering. The rest only need one thing: extremely efficient management with large efficiency ratios for their systems. IMF will shutdown the rest.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Search Science Careers in the Basque Country

From last week on, offers a listing of the most relevant science careers available in the Basque Country. Subscribe their newsletter and visit their site regularly. More HPC specific jobs will be reflected on this blog. The site is promoted by Ikerbasque.

Cambridge Judge Education and Google in the Basque Country

If you are planning to relocate your company or develop a career in business, the Basque Country can help you benefit from a perfect business education environment. Deusto Business School offers a program in Executive Business Innovation in conjunction with Cambridge Judge.
Deusto Business School is a renowned business school, and Google was visiting last week, to hire some of its graduates.

"In today´s global economy, where there is a continuous accelerating speed of change, there is no continuity without constant renewal. Innovation has become a key organizational capability for business success, through developing current businesses or creating new enterprises from existing ones.

The Executive Master in Business Innovation (MBI) from Deusto Business School has been specially designed to provide a unique experience that will boost you and your organisation´s creativity and enhance innovation capabilities. It will provide a space for reflection to reconsider the taken-for-granted managerial assumptions from traditional business programmes."

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Cellular automata and GPU computations

Who: Nestor Ferrando, Universidad Politécnica de Valencia

Place: Donostia International Physics Center (DIPC).Paseo Manuel de Lardizabal, 4 (nearby the Facultad de Quimica), Donostia

Date: Thursday, December 2, 2010, 12:00

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

FEM models, Loads Calculation and Mechanical Simulation Engineers in India

These positions are open in India for the wind generators Basque firm Gamesa.


Technical:Wind converter design concepts ,aerodinamics, structural dynamics IEC standards .
Management: Team building, initiative, team-work other area relationship, international culture, open minded

IT Knowledge: WEC aerolastical models (Bladed, FLEX, HAWC, Fast, Phatas, _HAWCStab)

Mechanical Simulation Group Manager

Technical: FEM Codes, Materials, Heat transfer, Noise, Bolted Joints, Weldings
Management: Team building, leadership, team-work, negotiation, other area relationship, international culture, open minded
Languages: English Very High; Spanish, recommended

IT Knowledge: ABAQUS / Matlab-Simulink-SimMechanics / Hypermesh / Patran / Nastran + GAMESA Corporate Tools

Experience: Above 10 years

Technical: FEM Codes, Materials, Heat transfer, Noise, Bolted Joints, Weldings

IT Knowledge: ABAQUS / Hypermesh / Patran + GAMESA Corporate Tools

Languages: English Very High;

Experience: 5 years recommended

Course on Aerodynamics by Epsilon Euskadi

There will be a second call for the following months, according to their web page.

Monday, November 15, 2010

RF Acceleration Structures Engineer/Scientist

Original document here: more info here.

Description: This is a post within the Acceleration Structures group. The candidate will be required to become familiar with science and technology of RF acceleration structures and, in particular, Drift-Tube LINAC (DTL), which are a standard component in linear particle accelerators. Candidate will work on mechanical, thermal and electromagnetic analysis, as well as on installation and commissioning of DTL structure, including precise alignment of the drift tubes with respect to the girder, which will be helpful in the commissioning and operation of the ESS-Bilbao accelerator.

Qualifications and experience: Candidates should have an Engineering/Physics degree (or higher) with skills in electromechanical analysis and simulation.

Language skills: Excellent oral and written English is essential; knowledge of French, German and other European languages would be an advantage.

Notes: Selected candidates may be required to stay two years in international scientific facilities such as ISIS, CERN, ILL, etc., and to carry out research assignments in these locations. Selected candidates will be subject to an initial three-year contract, which may be extended.

How to apply: Send a copy of your CV as well as a cover letter and some references if available to: Personnel Department, Att.: ESS-BILBAO Recruitment: Vacancy reference: DTL/EICOI-2010.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Surf and Ski/Snowboard - Why should your HPC project be with us?

The Basque Country is warm enough during summer, and it consists of 255 kilometers of coast to surf along this part of the Cantabric Sea -that is an Atlantic Climate. So you can expect good waves around. You will find more information here, or use Google Earth to find the spots in the map. The Basque Surfing federation web page is here. And some more info here.

If you are more sort of Ski or Snowboard person, you should know that the Basque Country, besides being an industrial hub, it is located at the beginning of the west Pirinees. Fantastic French and Spanish Ski resorts are just two hours drive from the Basque Country.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Learning from others (Data Centers)

This article about Google's last data center in Finland is really interesting. I have been suggesting, now for a year, that a similar thing could be done in the Basque Country. There are more examples over there. But ...

See the video from Finland here in English.

More updates on my side before end of the year!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Ikerchem Drug Design Platform

We already talked about Ikerchem. Today's news is that Ikerchem has decided to use CESCA's Drug Design Supercomputing Platform -a small and highly efficient catalan center-.

Nonetheless the Director's profile is quite impressive, higher education with the Fullbright scheme and UCLA.

To me CESCA it is also a good example of management. However I do not fully share their view, I think the Basque is more into some sort of CIC Sysgune.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Multiple Postdocs in Physics, in San Sebastian Donostia

Applications here.

Theoretical studies of electronic transport in nanostructures

Magnetoelectric couplings and related optical responses

Electronic excitations and many-body effects in solids, surfaces, and nanostructures

Ab-initio calculation of dielectric response at the surface

Further reading here.

Postdoc at Ion Channels Group, in Bilbao

Based in Bilbao, Basque Country. Applications here.

A Postdoctoral/Research Assistant/Technician two year position is immediately available at the Ion Channels group, at the Unit of Biophysics (UB), Spanish Council of Research (
CSIC), Spain.
We are seeking a highly motivated individual, interested to investigate the traffic of ion channels to the plasma membrane. Recent research, indicates that calmodulin plays an important role in a variety of cellular functions including endo-exocytic membrane trafficking.

Learning from others

The Victorian life sciences computation iniative could be a good example for the Basque bioregion. One of their key problems is that there is a lot of duplication of resources and personel, what increases cost.
The center is forming, but I believe it is quite important to understand their case, as we are quite similar with this Australian region.
  • to strengthen the outstanding life sciences reputation and capability of Victorian institutions and researchers
  • to make significant investment in high performance computing facilities and research support services
However I would never follow a classic supercomputing center model. The model is old, and probably useless. What I always talk about, is specialization, top quality management and operation strategy. A supercomputing per se is void.

The previous web page provides details and comprehensive information.

International project to compare the genomes of 12 fungi and to identify their potential for biodegradation of contaminants

In Pamplona,

Professor of Microbiology at the Public University of Navarre, Gerardo Pisabarro De Lucas, is to coordinate one of the projects of the Joint Genome Institute (JGI), dependent upon the Office of Science of the United States Department of Energy and involved in the production of biofuels. In concrete, his research team (Genetics and Microbiology Team) will undertake a comparison of the expression of the genomes of 12 fungi with the goal of finding out the strategies used by these organisms to break down wood to lignin. Lignin is a component of trees and other woody plants the degradation of which is necessary for cellulose — the main store of organic carbon on the planet — to be able to transform itself to biofuel.

Genetadi involved in a new international network seeking foetal abnormalities detecting biomarkers

The basque country company Genetadi participates in a new international research network looking for new non-invasive prenatal biomarkers for congenital anomalies. The project “Search for non-invasive biomarkers for the diagnosis of aneuploidies: integral study of the genome, proteome and metabolome" has been funded by the EU 7FP with one million euros.

Further read here.

Nanogune Cleanroom

A video of the nanogune installations in San Sebastian Donostia;

Development of a bone-regenerating drug

The scientific corporation Tecnalia and the biotech company Histocell announced at Biospain 2010 their strategic alliance for the development of a new product in the field of regenerative medicine.

Further here.

Intelligent Systems Group

This group, based at the Computer Science Faculty of University of the Basque Country in San Sebastian, combines what in essence is the root of success for many well known online businesses. Their activities are right now concentrated on:


  • Bayesian Networks, specially for supervised classification
  • Clustering techniques
  • Data mining, machine learning and knowledge discovery from databases, in general
  • Feature Subset Selection in Machine Learning
  • Statistical Methods for data analysis


  • Genetic Algorithms
  • Estimation of Distribution Algorithms (EDA)


  • Biomedical domains. Data modelization for diagnosis and prognosis problems.
  • Bioinformatics. Biomarker discovery.
  • Oceanographic domains. Ecologycal domains.

High-performace computing

  • Parallel implementation of techniques developed or used at ISG
  • Parallel computing hardware
  • Interconnection networks
  • Grid computing
  • Application of machine learning and optimization techniques to scheduling mechanisms
Update 11th Nov 2010. Researchers willing to join these teams or others in the Basque Country, should apply to Ikerbasque. Next call is due end of 2010 to start in 2011.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Khegal Aeronautica

It is a basque firm, that supplies components to the aeronautics, oil, automotive and marine industries.

Read their simulation platform case study here.

Khegal is an SME created and supported by the local entrepreneurship Bic-Berrilan.

Head of International Projects (Technologies of Composite Materials for Aeronautic Applications)

In San Sebastian. Applications here.


We are looking to those persons with a Third Level qualification in Aeronautic Engineering (or in Mechanical/Materials Engineering with work experience in the aeronautics sector).

Minimum experience required:

Experience of at least 10 years in the field of composite materials technologies and their processes. Likewise experience in international level R+D projects and in negotiations with companies in the aeronautics sector.


It is essential to have complete fluency in English, with credit being given to a second foreign language.

Systems Biology and regulation of mitochondrial metabolism: potential applications to obesity

Based in San Sebastian. Applications here.

Gene sequencing has led to the emergence of Systems Biology, which tries to reconstruct and model the various networks of molecular interaction that occur within a cellular system with the goal of looking for emerging properties of biomedical/biotechnological interest.

Mitochondrial metabolism plays an important role in maintaining a balance of energy equilibrium within an organism and is of great interest in a variety of illnesses.

This project deals with the reconstruction, analysis and regulation of mitochondrial metabolism using Systems Biology with a focus on obesity.

Nanoptics, Nanomagnetism, and Nanodevices opportunities

CIC nanoGUNE is seeking to recruit talented, enthusiastic people who will participate in its growing scientific program and serve its collaborative, technology transfer and outreach engaging mission. This includes both senior and junior researchers, post-docs, graduate students, highly qualified technicians, and administrative and other supporting staff.

Researcher in Electrical Energy Storage - Ikerlan

Applications here.

The candidate will be in charge of designing and developing Battery Management Systems (BMS) which performs advanced functions like monitoring and protection of cells, SOC (state of charge) and SOH (state of health) estimation, cell balancing and others.

We demand:

- Recent PhD in electrical/electronic engineering, chemical engineering, or closely related field.

- The ability to perform well in team research.

- Extensive direct experience in Battery Management Systems (BMS) development (HW and SW).

- Extensive experience with Battery modeling and SOC/SOH estimation algorithms.

- Excellent communication skills, both oral and written.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Food for HPC thought

I am happy with the changes for i2Basque -the fact that is going to be integrated with Ikerbasque, and by the way I hope that the excelent team stays beyond 2011-. I have seen many new HPC centers fail on something that Ikerbasque does very well: partnership with each research institution in the Basque arena. And we can say they have been quite successful.

Because the major failure of new supercomputing centers is that they can not do science: they do not publish, or at least not enough. However they were aimed for that! yeah but the reality is that without people, without ideas, without real scientific centers behind, they are nothing but an empty box, rented to other scientists and normally badly managed as their directors are researchers that have to stop their research to manage -so why the hell do we have management gradutes for?-. I have always argued this, and I still believe that supercomputing centers as such are a very old void idea nowadays. As an example, I have heard that some of the new ones have operated for a few years without having managed to get access to online publication services :from the universities that use their own systems!- ... We need more focus science and better service.

Having said this: what can these centers offer or improve ? Definetely service. It is unsound that nowadays, when most of researchers need less than 512 cores, there is so much burochracy to request a few hours, for a few months. This is unfortunately becoming a major problem as most of their codes will end up running on in-house facilities: no paperwork, no timeframe. That is why new supercomputing centers still fail, because service is conceived as if there was going to be huge runs inside their systems (>10,000 cpus or TBs of memory). But that is not practical, and due to the huge shifts in computer technology prices/performance, this is not sustainable in the present economic environment. Big clusters are for big projects. Lets say that nowadays a cost-effective system is built upon a few thousands (4-k) cpus.

But my point today is service and computer systems research. These two are my wishes for the new i2basque. Top quality service (be inside EJIE is the first step, so congrats for that), top quality systems, 24*7 if needed, top quality code support team, good helpdesk and more importantly happy and passionate employees -lets stop the HPC cowboys forever, please-. On the other side, i2Basque has one potential that can not be ignored. There should be some sort of commitment to pure systems research. What is more, what is the science debt clock with the Linux Kernel itself ? How long will this run for ? How many of our science projects would not exist without it ? For how long supercomputing centers are not going to commit patches and updates to the Linux Kernel ?

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Basque budgets: 330m€ in science and technology projects for 2011

Approved by both Spanish and Basque Governments. Links are in Spanish.

This will have significant impact in Basque Computational projects, as for example the Basque Center for applied Mathematics will raise 6m€ just in 2011.





Friday, October 29, 2010

The art of quantum simulation enables the study of inaccessible phenomena

An interesting interview to local Ikerbasque researcher Enrique Solano, here.

The paper was published on Nature.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

References: the LRZ case

The following slides -from a presentation given a few months ago- highlight perfectly what I consider a very good global HPC academic provider. It is what we should be looking at, and mimic -as we already explained, what I believe could be applied to Lemoniz abandoned nuclear power plant.

Introducing IT Service Management at the LRZ

However let me argue the real need to be supported by Industry, specially the local one. Lemoniz is extremely important in terms of Physical Security, but there is more that I will try to argue in future posts. All related posts here.

VideoGames industry education in the Basque

"The Bilbao Chamber of Comerse and DigipPen USA are honoured to present DigiPen Institute of Technology Europe-Bilbao, a project the goal of which is to boost a new strategic sector in Euskadi: Videogames and Virtual Reality. To this end, we will create high-performance training and research in videogame programming and design and which will open its doors in 2010."

and Techflash.

Applications for fall 2011 now open. See their website and follow the European Hub on Facebook.

This is indeed a good reference for us. Well done!

Basque Competitiviness Performance: Why should your HPC project be in the Basque Country?

The following presentation -prepared by distinguished professor Michael E. Porter from Harvard Business School's Institute for Strategy and Competitiviness- will give provide you with some unvaluable insights. The professors used this material to give a talk in Bilbao in 2002, and describes the evolution of the Basque Region strategies and recommendations from 1988.

Basque competitive performance - Michael E. Porter

Why should your HPC project be in the Basque Country ? Space for your offices

Besides the scientific and technological parks located at the outskirts of Bilbao, San Sebastian, Vitoria and Mondragon, Bilbao is about to inaugurate the "Iberdrola Tower". Located in the center of Bilbao, you can request and find further information to start your business here.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Why should your HPC project be in the Basque Country ? Nature, Sports, Culture and Society

The following funny video, made by a person that leaves in the Basque Country, can give you a good idea about how the people and the countryside in the Basque Country area is. As his author describes his video took "21 months in the making, more than 100 places and many friends to dance in the Basque Country. Based on an idea by Matt Harding."

Why should your HPC project be in the Basque Country ? Economic Situation

In a video report published in its digital version, the WSJ describes Spain as a burden for Europe though it also says that Bilbao has "weathered" the economic situation well.
Further can be read here.

Why should your HPC project be in the Basque Country ? Science Report

The following report describes the Basque Science system. It was published in Nature in 2008 in conunction with Ikerbasque- the Basque Science Agency-.

Basque Science

Fellowships 2011 for Visiting Researchers in Computational Projects

The call is run by Ikerbasque the Basque Science Foundation: please see a description of centers, projects and conditions here.

Jobs in San Sebastian: Head of Calculation and Simulation projects

Further information and apply form in English here.

Description of offer:

This falls within the remit of the Business Unit at TECNALIA Transport (within the Department of Product Engineering), located at the INASMET-Tecnalia Technological Centre in the Donostia-San Sebastian Technological Park in the Basque Country. Remuneration is negotiable depending on personal and professional skills..

Requirements: Qualifications:

We are looking to those persons with Third Level qualifications in Engineering (Mechanical, Materials, Aeronautics or similar).

Minimum experience required:

Experience of approximately 5-10 years in the field of numerical simulation (structural, thermal, etc.) in the modelling of materials, in physical processes and phenomena in general, and in programming (Matlab, etc).


It is essential to have fluency in English, with credit being given for a second foreign language.


Credit will also be given for those holding a PhD or those undertaking a doctorate in numerical simulation.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Research Opportunities in Mathematics in the Basque Country

The BCAM, the basque center for applied mathematics is seeking to hire, senior, postdoctoral and phd students in the following areas: Please apply and read here.

  • Fluid

  • Data 

  • Statistics 

  • Financial
  • Partial

  • Computational 

  • Network 

  • Calculus

  • Mathematical

  • Analysis 

  • Waves

  • Numerical 

  • Optimal

  • Applications

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Modelling the behaviour of the plastic deformation of metal sheeting

Mondragon University, Fagor Arrasate and Koniker technological centre announced today an agreement for boosting research in machine tool sector.

Koniker Research is an expert on "simulations finite elements: mechanical, thermal, hydraulic, cinematic and dynamic".

Why should your HPC project be in the Basque Country ?

The Following document will provide some insights for those willing to relocate their High Performance Computing activities to the Basque Country. As you will find on the gubernamental web page, your project can benefit from key strategic areas: Nanotechnology, Biotechnology, Electronics, and Alternative Energies expert know-how.

Investing in the Basque Country

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Why should your Simulation or High Performance Computing project be in the Basque Country?

The following document -distributed by ESS Bilbao- is a bit old, but you may get the picture.

Quality of Life in the Basque Country

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Recognition of hemi-methylated DNA by UHRF1

This excellent presentation was given by Ronen Zangi, Ikerbasque Research Professor from the University of the Basque Country, at a national scientific computing conference.

ps: here you can read en interview when he moved to live in San Sebastian-Donostia, to start this work.

Recognition of hemi-methylated DNA by UHRF1 (Ronen Zangi, Euskal Herriko Unibersitatea)

Monday, October 11, 2010

Iberdrola's Wind Simulations in seek of expert HPC engineers and consultants

That is what today, the Spanish supercomputing center's associate director said to a national radio program. He claims that his center -located in Barcelona- has an advanced engineering technology program ongoing to optimize Iberdrola's new wind farms across the Spanish geography. It is understood that such decisions need simulation and supercomputing capabilities, as it was described before in this blog. Despite Iberdrola is a major HPC industrial user, none of its activities seem to have any relevance inside the Basque Country.

The interview can be played here, in Spanish though.

On the other hand, Iberdrola's Chairman previously said that "significant volume of investment" was planned in the Basque " which represents a golden opportunity for Basque suppliers – highly specialized in the electricity sector –".

Update 19th October 2010: Iberdrola confirms. However this seems an strategy to win bid for 489 megawatts (MW) of wind power capacity in the are where the CASE centre is located.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Financial Times outlook cover Basque companies that use HPC

I am happy to mention here the positive outlook covered by Financial Times' Mark Mulligan.

Some good things:

"The green valleys and centuries­ old villages of the Basque Country seem an incongruous setting for the workshops of Spain’s industrial heartland. "

"the Basque Country more crisis­ resistant than the rest of Spain"

The article mention basque companies that we already covered -CIE, Iberdrola, AIC-, need the use of scientific computing, simulation, prediction and management to run successful businesses.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

The Basque Mathematics Annual Report

The Basque Center for Applied Mathematics has recently published their annual report. With only 2 years, significant achievements, and things that sound really well:

-"BCAM has been granted an ERC Advanced Grant 2009 edition"

-"Collaboration with local partners and industry is also increasingly bringing new scientific challenges, human resurces and funding to BCAM "

-"Highly valuable people from different countries, committed to teamwork, continuous learning and the development of top-level mathematical knowledge and skills are continuously drawn to BCAM for training and research "

-"The aim of the team Partial Differential Equations, Numerics and Control is to contribute to the understanding - through modeling, mathematical analysis, and numerical simulation - of a wide range of phenomena such as the vibrations of complex mechanical structures, phase transitions in solids, shape design in aeronautics, and the dynamics of strongly nonlinear surface and internal waves in fluids "

"the development and analysis of mathematical models to predict and control the QoS (Quality of Service) of information and communication systems, including wired and wireless networks and large-scale distributed systems "

"Our objective is to study relevant physical and biological processes using mathematical modeling, analysis and computer simulation "

"agreements with the Chinese Academy os Sciences in Beijing, the University of Kyushu in Japan, the Tata Insititute in India"

"BCAM needs powerful computational resources to perform complex calculations and to generate simulations and visualizations "

"We have also acces to the cluster provided by i2basque, which features 232 processing cores "

The following video of the facilities features in the first 58 seconds an introduction to the center and an engineering forum celebrated in their building -text translated by google here-:

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

i2Basque manages Euskalmet's iDataPlex

Great news: i2basque advertises the availability of the -possibly- already announced Euskalmet's iDataplex 1064 cores machine. This is indeed great news: i2basque from my point of view, can provide the best academic and industrial connectivity and therefore the best integration in all terms. If the machine it is hosted at the EJIE data center, then we can clearly say that it is probably one of the most uptime-d scientific computing clusters around.

Now we are only missing a bit more of coordination in the next purchases, so we get better hardware and cheaper. Possibly if this was more orchestrated, we could also start some sort of research in this area, get hardware previews, coordinate software development and support, partnership. We got all the elements, do not get me wrong, but they do not seem so visible.

Whoever takes this responsibility for our community has a great task ahead.
i2basque seems the candidate, lets see how this evolves.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Understanding the 'client'

I already talked about the Basque Centre on Cognition Brain and Language. I wanted to post this video because I believe it is extremely important to understant the people that need HPC tools. And this, this is really unique. I believe we can all say the centre has very good and qualified professionals.

well done local government, very well done.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Career Opportunity: Research Professor in Advanced Computing

"IKERBASQUE, the Basque Foundation for Science has opened new Research Professor positions in Advanced Computing. Applications and more information at:

Ikerbasque offers permanent contracts (tenure) to senior researchers to develop their work and career in any of the research institutions of the Basque Country. This initiative has been granted by the European Commission / Marie Curie Action – Cofund programme."

Via Linkedin - Jaime Sagarduy @ ikerbasque.

ps: I am happy.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010


This is my personal objective from this blog. To be one, here in the Basque, so that research and technology centres and institute work together to minimize their computing costs and multiply their opportunities.

I try to highlight what I find it is good and what I believe could be improved.

And it is extremely interesting, because the users are not those that appears on the press every now and then. There are small, little and sincere initiatives. However they must believe that united and sharing one soul, they will be able to achieve higher successes. Government must help and entities must share.

Yes we can.


Thursday, July 29, 2010

Ikerchem: Pharmacy, Chemical and Computational Design

Extremely good and important news:

"IkerChem specializes in the computational design and synthesis of Novel Chemical Entities (NCEs) with therapeutic applications in oncology."

They have recently won a National entrepreneurship award, prestigious emprendedorxxi sponsored by la Caixa.

Surfing the web I found this interesting interview in English. I would like to highlight the following part:

"Computing greatly facilitates laboratory work, is that right?

Yes, undoubtedly; and even more so being a small enterprise. One of the approaches of the multinationals is to take a group of compounds and subject them to massive trials to see which are the four or five molecules that might function. We do not have the wherewithal to carry out this in such a wide-scale manner. This is why our approach is based on analysing the biological system on the computer and undertaking amore selective search."

Finally a video from the contest -in spanish, though:

And this is what I call multidisciplinary and success. A group that emerged from the basque university, that probably used its computing and modest resources and that has such a promising future ahead. These are the people to help.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

ESS-Bilbao q&a proposal mentioned national computing centres

Locally we could not mention any. Even if we had them, we would and we will need to send data away, process it and bring it back. But what is worse, access to the resources is not guaranteed because we depend on external scientific review panels.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Ikerlan and Simulation

The IKERLAN Technology research centre is a private non-profit making entity with a public service vocation, created in 1974 at the initiative of a group of companies and entities which today form part of the MONDRAGON Corporation.

Within their extensive and excel career we can identify at least the use of CFD simulation softwares for the Microsystems laboratory. Concretely the following softwares:

Design and simulation: Multiphysics finite elements simulation with:
  • Ansys Multiphysics.
  • CFD-ACE+
  • Fluid simulation with Fluent.
  • Optical simulation with Alcatel OlympiOs
  • Mask design with Alcatel Odin.
  • Encapsulation design with ProEngineer.
The following video explains and shows the centre, and it is in English.

Perhaps more computing resources, coordinated would let them scale and do fine grain simulations, and obtain more accurate resources. But for that we need to coordinate our computing resources.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Gaiker uses simulation to get a patent

Gaiker-IK4 research centre patented after running ANSYS simulations and deciding design parameters with the use of computers.

This is indeed good news and a very good reason. We need to organise our computing infrastructure, it is becoming more and more important.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Angel Rubio goes away to compute

Professor Angel Rubio has been actively using resources from the Spanish Supercomputing Network. His group activities are "focused on the field of theory and modelling of electronic and structural properties in condensed matter and on developing novel theoretical tools and computational codes to investigate the electronic response of solids and nanostructures to external electromagnetic fields."

Some numbers:

-In 2006: at least 40k hours
-In 2007: at least 90k hours
-In 2008: at least 150k hours
-In 2009: at least 600k + (450k + 450k) hours
-In 2010: at least 400k + 180k hours

Total of 2360k cpu / hours only in this network.

We could easily assume that he will mostly run jobs of 128 cores size (to develop and use advance computational codes).

That is to say, Angel Rubio used 18437 hours in the last three years for his average job size. 768 days or 2 complete years.

This is indeed a lot.

Seeing this, seeing the importance on his work and how well he does it, perhaps we should consider upgrade our resources, and again, as I always say, build and manage a shared infrastructure with all the basque science network members: why do it separately ? It is more expensive, it does not scale well and the data centres are under several risks due to their size and sometimes quality.

What is more, our business could improve their products significantly if they shared such facility.