SHAPE Access: Information for Reviewers

The membership of the SHAPE review panel will vary with each call mainly due to availability, but typically it is composed of the following:

  • One member from the PRACE Industry Advisory Committee
  • Two Business Development Officers
  • One member from the PRACE Peer Review Team
  • Two members representing the PRACE applications enabling workpackage
  • One member representing the PRACE Preparatory Access team

The process for applying for SHAPE is two-stage. The SME applies to SHAPE, then if successful applies for machine time, usually via Preparatory Access. This final panel member is included to give a preliminary opinion on the technical suitability of the application from the PA point of view and then to facilitate the application for machine time. This two-stage process has been streamlined to minimise the burden on the SME.

The criteria used in the review process are as follows:

  • Fit with the goals of SHAPE
    • The aim of SHAPE is to assist SMEs in overcoming the barriers to adopting HPC, such as risk, initial cost, lack of in-house expertise and lack of access to resources.
    • The target audience for SHAPE is SMEs with no or little experience of HPC, who can be assisted with both expertise from PRACE, and time on a PRACE machine.
    • It is not a way of getting processor cycles for production runs for existing codes – there are other avenues for this via PRACE such as the project access calls.
  • Strength of the business case
    • The expertise and resources provided through the SHAPE programme are expected to produce a significant Return on Investment for the company. In the mid-term, the SME should be able to build on the results to, for instance, increase its market share, renew its investment, offer new products or services, or recruit dedicated staff. The solution implemented should be part of a business plan to further engage in HPC in the long term.
  • Other aspects considered
    • The commitment of the SMEs to co-invest with PRACE in achieving the project goals. The effort for the project should be at least approximately equally split between the SME and PRACE.
    • The innovative aspects of the proposal.
    • The social and economic impact on society as a whole.

The applications are reviewed and ranked according to these criteria, then the final recommendations are put forward to the PRACE Board of Directors for approval.