TÜBİTAK organized an online event to share recent developments in the field of süper computers, within the scope of the EuroHPC Joint Undertaking (EuroHPC JU) initiative, globally and in our country, providing answers to questions on the subject. The opening speech of the event was delivered by TÜBİTAK President Prof. Dr. Hasan Mandal. Mandal performed a presentation titled ‘Enhancing Opportunities for Joint Development and Joint Success with MareNostrum 5 and TRUBA’.
At the beginning of his presentation, Mandal touched upon the journey of our first Turkish astronaut, Alper Gezeravcı, to the International Space Station, stating, “With our National Space Program's ‘Turkish Astronaut and Science Mission,’ significant excitement has been generated. This initiative ensures the conduction of space research in Türkiye's Century and enhances our visibility in space.”
Regarding the High-Performance Computing infrastructures in the world, TÜBİTAK President Mandal pointed out that the total performance of the infrastructures included in the top 500 list, where all supercomputers in the world are ranked according to their performance, has increased to 7 exaflops, and noted that MareNostrum 5 is among the top 10 infrastructures in the list published in November 2023.
“R&D is an important area of opportunity”
Mandal, referring to the Global Risk Map for the year 2024 published by the World Economic Forum, emphasized that climate change and pandemics continue to pose threats. Underscoring the importance of research and development activities, Mandal stated, ‘Both in the short and long term, extreme weather events, critical changes in the Earth system, and other environmental, technological, and societal risks are among the most severe global risks. Critical changes in the Earth system interact with other risks, involving complex connections with natural resources, biological diversity, extreme weather events, environmental pollution, health, migration, and the economy.’ Mandal highlighted that preventing these critical changes creates a significant opportunity for R&D. He noted that financial tools, national and local regulations, corporate strategies, and public awareness play a prominent role in solution-oriented actions.
Emphasizing the 12th Development Plan covering the years 2024-2028, Mandal conveyed the message that ‘Our ecosystem is working for a Türkiye in the Turkish Century that is environmentally-sensitive, disaster-resistant, produces high added value based on advanced technology, shares income fairly, and is stable, strong, and prosperous.’
Mandal, as the President of TÜBİTAK, highlighted the priorities set by TÜBİTAK in 2018, including natural disasters, climate change, Industry 5.0, digitization, and pandemics. He underscored the importance of human resources for Türkiye to achieve its net-zero goals by 2053. Mandal emphasized the necessity of taking an integrated perspective on TÜBİTAK's support programs and modules in terms of human resources, stating, ‘When TÜBİTAK's support is evaluated within an integrated structure, it can be considered as a solution to problems. We are mobilizing our R&D and innovation know-how within the scope of joint development approaches.’
" We are now in the top 300 in the world with our TRUBA national infrastructure "
Underlining that the capacity of TRUBA - Turkish National Science e-Infrastructure has been increased, Mandal said, "With TRUBA, we serve 180 different universities and more than 6 thousand researchers in the country as of the end of 2023. We expect to be among the top 300 in the world with our TRUBA national infrastructure, whose capacity has been increased. With our investment this year, we aim to be among the top 100." He also stated, "As Türkiye, we are a partner of the world's eighth supercomputer with MareNostrum 5. We are a country that allocates resources for this. Our access to these resources should be transformed into a science and technology mission in the most effective way for high-performance calculations to be carried out in many fields, such as climate change, renewable energy, medicine, and vaccine development. The studies will contribute significantly to virus spread simulations, artificial intelligence, and big data applications."
Speaking about the supercomputer called "MareNostrum5" established within the scope of the "European High Performance Computing Joint Undertaking (EuroHPC JU)" of which Türkiye has been a member since 2019, Mandal said that this is a computer with the capabilities to enable new scientific breakthroughs.
Describing the MareNostrum 5 supercomputer, positioned at the 8th spot globally, Mandal stated that it will cater to researchers across various domains, particularly in artificial intelligence, climate change, renewable energy, and health sciences. He highlighted that the computing power of this supercomputer is equivalent to 380 thousand laptops, and it can execute tasks in just one hour that would take a laptop 46 years to accomplish.
Mandal highlighted that Türkiye has transformed into a country that not only follows but leads, becoming a direct actor in solving issues rather than waiting for ‘someone else to address them’. He expressed confidence that Türkiye will play a role in the development of science and technology-based solutions with the Century of Turkey. Mandal stated, 'Whether it's environmental issues, quality of life, societal problems, or technological digital transformation, Türkiye will continue to sustain its presence not only in discourse but also in actions.’
The President of TÜBİTAK emphasized that supercomputers strengthen Türkiye’s global scientific and technological standing. He noted that the technological infrastructure in Türkiye provides opportunities for research, analysis, and innovative projects in various fields.
“Our aim is to provide the best infrastructures to our researchers”
Mehmet Mirat Satoğlu, Director of TÜBİTAK ULAKBİM, who moderated the event, evaluated our participation process in EuroHPC within the scope of our goals and the support provided.
Satoğlu, stating that Türkiye joined EuroHPC in April 2019, mentioned, ‘The primary goal here was to provide our researchers with state-of-the-art infrastructure and eliminate the need for our researchers to seek time from centers in other countries to run their work, offering them the best infrastructure available.’
Stating that one of the goals in the next phase for EU countries is to increase their shares as producers in the fields that have been invested in for a long time, Satoğlu mentioned that within this context, we are part of this formation that aligns completely with our own goals, in which we will be a partner in intellectual property in projects such as processor development projects in which TÜBİTAK BİLGEM is involved. He added, ‘We have ensured that all our researchers in the country participate in calls and receive support from these calls.’
Satoğlu expressed that our country allocates a significant amount of resources to the system being established in Barcelona as a partner, emphasizing that this way our researchers will have access to the world's best systems. He also stated “In this regard, with the support of the former Minister of Industry and Technology in the year 2018, Mr. Mustafa Varank, the Deputy Minister at the time, and our current Minister, Mr. Mehmet Fatih Kacır, the Directorate General for EU and Foreign Affairs, the Digital Transformation Office of the Presidency of the Republic of Türkiye, our President within TÜBİTAK, Prof. Dr. Hasan Mandal, our International Cooperation Directorate, our ARGES Unit responsible for research infrastructures, our Legal Services Presidency, our Strategy Development Directorate, and our TRUBA team, we are able to provide this service to our researchers today. We are very grateful to the Strategy and Budget Presidency for supporting all these efforts with very high budgets. With their support, we have established these partnerships.”
M. Mirat Satoğlu stated that one of the most important goals of the TRUBA team, which has been working since 2003, is that not only researchers but also the private sector can use this infrastructure within the scope of EuroHPC and develop higher value-added products and do their work more efficiently, and said “Increasing competent human resources in this field is one of the most important goals. In this context, NCC-Competence Centres were established in all member countries. These competence centres came together under the EuroCC project. Our country completed the first phase of the project in the top three among 33 countries with 29 case studies; 10 success stories emerged from these case studies. The second phase has been in full swing for one year.”
“TRUBA is open to the use of the private sector”
Stating that TRUBA, which has been serving for 21 years, has been open to the use of the private sector for a fee for a long time, Satoğlu said that priority is given to our researchers depending on capacity. He expressed that ‘Thanks to our new capacity increases, it is possible for our entire private sector and Technoparks to benefit from TRUBA. The usage policies of MareNostrum 5 will be clarified by the end of March. Our researchers are currently able to use TRUBA resources. We will activate the new 56.000 core cluster by early February. Since these systems are the most advanced systems in the world, our users must have Linux knowledge above the basic level.’
TÜBİTAK ULAKBİM Director Satoğlu stated that policies regarding access to MareNostrum 5, within the partnership allocated to Türkiye, will be clarified between Spain, Portugal, and Türkiye by the beginning of March (prior to user acceptance), and ongoing discussions continue in this regard.
Dr. Sevil Sarıkurt and Feyza Eryol from the TRUBA team shared information with the participants about the activities carried out by the EuroHPC Joint Undertaking from its establishment to the present, systems supported by the EuroHPC Joint Undertaking, and how access calls to these systems as a member country of the EuroHPC Joint Undertaking can be accessed. Additionally, they provided details about the technical specifications of the MareNostrum 5 system, in which Türkiye is a partner, and the access calls planned for the direct use of approximately 10% of the system by researchers in our country.
Sarıkurt and Eryol discussed the current resources of the Turkish National Science e-Infrastructure (TRUBA), available to researchers in our country since 2003, and the technical specifications of the ARF system delivered by the end of 2023. They detailed the requirements for researchers wishing to benefit from TRUBA resources and the documentation page (https://docs.truba.gov.tr) where information on these requirements and related documents can be accessed.
The event also emphasized how super computer technologies form the foundation for Türkiye's national development goals. Among the topics covered were recent developments in Türkiye's space program, significant computations carried out with super computers and the future role of these technologies.