12th Plenary – CSC

Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the 12th Plenary meeting will be held using Zoom. The event is organized by CSC (Finland) and is open to all PLAN-E members.

Registration: click here to go to the registration page.
Date: 24 November (13.00-16.45 CET) and 25 November (09.00-16.30 CET)
Organization committee: Leif Laaksonen, Kimmo Koski, Per Öster (CSC), Tom Bakker and Patrick Aerts (PLAN-E)

Programme Tuesday 24 November 2020 (Day 1)

Moderator for Day 1: Sara Garavelli (CSC)

13:00-13:10Practical and agenda matters,
by Tom Bakker (secretary PLAN-E)
13:10-13:20Welcome by the local host
by Kimmo Koski (director CSC)
13:20-13:30Introduction to the plenary
by Joris van Eijnatten (chair PLAN-E) 
New developments in HPC
13:30-14:15Towards the exascale: LUMI/EuroHPC status and future plans
by Kimmo Koski (CSC, Finland)
14:45-15:30Some peculiarities of HPC at CEA – From in-depth co-design to high-end infrastructure  and services deployment for industry and research
by Jean-Philippe Nominé (CEA, France)
15:30-16:15Current developments and state of play – the perspective of the European Commission
by Juan Pelegrin (DG CONNECT)
16:15-16:45Plenary discussion on New Developments in HPC with a summary
Moderated by Patrick Aerts (eScience Center, the Netherlands)
End of Day one

Programme Wednesday 25 November 2020 (Day 2)

Moderator for Day 2: Joris van Eijnatten (Netherlands eScience Center)

09:00-09:10Getting started
AI: Privacy, Trust & Transparency
09:10-09:40Digital health – handling of sensitive biomedical data
by Megi Sharikadze (Leibniz Supercomputing Centre, Germany)
09:40-10:10Artificial intelligence and biology – Role of structured data in knowledge-building
by Tommi Nyrönen (CSC, Finland)
10:30-11:00AI and health (data) – Privacy, transparency and responsibility: an overview of the most crucial legal aspects
by Elisabetta Biasin (KU Leuven Centre for IT & IP Law, Belgium)
11:00-11:30Plenary Discussion on AI: Privacy, Trust & Transparency
Moderated by Per Oster (CSC)
Presentations on – Research Software Engineering in Europe
11:30-12:00RSEs: collaboration between researchers and software experts,
by Paul Richmond (University of Sheffield, UK)
13:00-13:30The CodeRefinery project: teaching research software development and connecting Nordic research software engineers
by Radovan Bast (UiT The Arctic university of Norway)
13:30-14:00RSEs at Dutch research organizations
by Joris van Eijnatten (Netherlands eScience Center)
14:00-14:30Plenary discussion on Research Software Engineering in Europe
Moderated by Joris van Eijnatten
15:00-15:45Keynote on Quantum Software, Title to be confirmed
by prof. Harry Buhrman, University of Amsterdam and CWI (national research institute for mathematics and computer science), and director of QuSoft (Dutch research center for quantum software), The Netherlands
15:45-16:15Discussion on the future of PLAN-E 
16:15-16:30Closing words by host, next host (Hungary) and PLAN-E

Presenter bios & abstracts


Kimmo Koski

Dr. Kimmo Koski (Managing Director, CSC – the Finnish IT Center for Science) started in his current position at CSC in August 2004 with a mission to support Finnish research through providing world-class e-infrastructure and related services. This has included investments in national resources and active participation in European initiatives. One example of the recent projects is the eco-efficient datacenter in a former paper-mill in Kajaani, which has been running in production since 2012. In 2020 CSC’s datacenter in Kajaani will host EuroHPC pre-exascale system provided by a 10-country LUMI consortium coordinated by Kimmo Koski.

The talk will discuss the future plans in EuroHPC and LUMI consortium on the way towards exascale – as also ways to develop European competiveness and collaboration through building an efficient ecosystem around the EuroHPC concept.

Jean-Philippe Nominé

Dr. Jean-Philippe Nominé joined CEA HPC division in 1992, where he held different managing positions in HPC software development, before getting involved in European activities from 2007 onwards. Dr. Nominé was involved in PRACE European HPC infrastructure since the beginning of its preparation, and was a Member of PRACE aisbl Board of Directors in 2010-2011. He was then ETP4HPC Office manager between 2012 and 2019 and is now a member of ETP4HPC Steering Board, and of EuroHPC Research and Innovation Advisory Group (RIAG). At CEA he manages HPC strategic collaborations (EU and international). J.P. Nominé graduated from Ecole Polytechnique (engineer degree) and holds a PhD from Université Pierre-et-Marie-Curie (Paris, 1991).

CEA is both an advanced user of HPC for its programmes and missions, and an HPC « provider » – a supercomputing centre operator and provider of related services, as well as an active HPC R&D player and  HPC technologies developer.

We will present the different facets of HPC at CEA, and some of their interactions with the European HPC ecosystem:

– Setup and operations of a supercomputing ‘complex’ comprised of 3 large machines and two facilities on the same site near Paris, for research, industry and defence uses at the French and/or European levels

– Development of HPC hardware and software technologies, in close relationship with industrial suppliers, with in particular a long standing « deep » co-design approach of supercomputers

– Development and use of large scale numerical simulation, data analytics and machine learning applications, in close relationship with many scientific communities and industrial partners

Juan Pelegrin (TBD)

AI: Privacy, Trust & Transparency

Megi Sharikadze

Megi Sharikadze (PhD in Human and Animal Physiology, 2004), joined LRZ in 2014 as an academic project manager. Since then she has been acting in her different functions dealing with academic project acquisition and execution as well as science management and coordination. Drawing upon 15 years of experience with European research funding she as an EU Research funding advisor largely contributes to LRZ’s European proposals and projects.

In her previous occupation at University Hospital Regensburg, acquisition and management of European health-related projects was her main responsibility (till 2014). E.g., EC-FP7 large-scale collaborative project LipidomicNet (GA: 202272) was supported and managed by her (2009-2014). Prior to these activities, she conducted neuroscientific research 1998-2009 (at the end as a senior researcher scientist at I. Beritahsvili Institute of Physiology (Tbilisi, Georgia) and guest scientist of university of Federal Armed Forces (Munich, Germany).

Nowadays, in parallel to consulting researchers and partners in research fundraising, she pays special attention to Digital Health domain. With this respect she consolidates efforts of LRZ’s BioMedICT task-force, and especially supports community building and networking activities at local, national as well as on European levels (also via active participation in Plan-E, e-IRG and other initiatives).

Digital health – handling of sensitive biomedical data

With wide acknowledgment of essential footprints of data science, AI and computerized reasoning in modern biomedicine, data collection and sharing as well as next generation analytic methods, applications and respective digital infrastructures are rapidly advancing. These components attract increased interests not only of biomedical professionals and ICT experts, but also of general public, politics and society. In context of ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, interests in Digital health issues grow and stay overwhelming.

In the “AI: Privacy, Trust & Transparency session” of the 12th Plenary meeting of Plan-E, under umbrella of Digital health topic, several aspects of biomedical data handling will be addressed, drawn upon experiences in current initiatives and projects at LRZ. Among the lessons learned, one should emphasize is that successful data protection is not based on pure technical issues, but also requires medical practitioners to adapt their way of using IT infrastructures.

Tommi Nyrönen

Tommi Henrik Nyrönen PhD AdjProf is the Head of the ELIXIR Finland Node operated by CSC – IT Center for Science in Finland. His role is enabling research, focusing on services for big life sciences data in ELIXIR, European Life Science Infrastructure for Biological Information (http://www.elixir-europe.org). In 2019, EU member states and Commission elected him to co-lead the technical interoperability of the EU 1 million genomes initiative. He also leads the Data Use and Researcher Identities workstream in the Global Alliance for Genomics & Health GA4GH, and a co-lead of the European ELIXIR Compute Platform, adjunct professor in computational drug design at the University of Helsinki, and a past by-fellow in bioinformatics at Churchill College, University of Cambridge.



Even in the age of emergence of artificial intelligence, the development of new individual prediction algorithms follows the old proverb: poor data, poor models. Learning does not happen without access to proper learning materials. The same principle applies to both humans and machines. 

Machine learning requires different, machine-readable, representation of high-quality data. Therefore, the attention of researchers is increasingly turned into solving the problem of how to gain access to high-quality datasets. 

In this talk, I will introduce European data resources and data access processes in biology. In particular I will discuss how to facilitate access to large-scale sensitive genome and image data consented for research, as well as processes to gather and broker computational access to the data using international standards. The goal is to discuss the importance of sustained high-quality data sources to develop new knowledge, algorithms and models to understand human health.

Elisabetta Biasin

Research Software Engineering in Europe

Paul Richmond

Dr Richmond is a Research Software Engineer (RSE) and director of the Research Software ENgineergin Group and the University of SHeffield, UK. He is currently supported by an EPSRC Early Career, Research Software Engineering (RSE) Fellowship and is actuating President of the Society for Research Software Engineering. He leads the Research Software Engineering group at the university of Sheffield which more broadly embeds software engineering skills and software engineering best practice into interdisciplinary collaborations to facilitate better and more sustainable research. As part of his fellowship, Dr Richmond facilitates the use of accelerated architectures such as Graphics Processing Units (GPUs) to accelerate scientific discovery. He is developing software techniques, a provision of skills and training material to help drive the use of accelerators into mainstream science and engineering. More broadly, Dr Richmond advocates for the role of Research Software Engineers and is developing a sustainable pathways to supporting a wide range of research software through his RSE group and within the wider RSE community.

RSEs: collaboration between researchers and software experts

The Research Software Engineering movement is at the forefront of change in research practice ensuring modern computational research is reproducible. They key to empowering Research Software Engineers lies within the community itself. This talk will outline the growth of this community and recognition of the RSE role in the UK and beyond. It will give insight into providing career structures within academic/research institutions and describe some of the successes of the RSE Society as well as some future plans for developing the RSE role.

Radovan Bast

Radovan Bast is a research software engineer with background in theoretical chemistry. He’s worked in France, Stockholm, and now Tromsø at the border between science, software, and computational support and enjoys supporting multi-disciplinary research. He now works as part of the Sigma2 metacenter at the University of Tromsø, Norway, and leads the CodeRefinery project

The CodeRefinery project: teaching research software development and connecting Nordic research software engineers

In my presentation I will discuss how we grew the CodeRefinery project over the past 4 years and taught hundreds of students and researchers across all disciplines in best practices in reproducible research software engineering. I will also discuss our efforts to build a community of research software engineers in the Nordics.

Joris van Eijnatten

Joris van Eijnatten (PhD 1993) is general director of the Netherlands eScience Center and professor of digital history at Utrecht University, the Netherlands. His numerous publications include books and articles on toleration, Dutch religious history, the poet Willem Bilderdijk, sermons, the justification of war, media history and conceptual history. A digital historian, Van Eijnatten specialises in applying digital methodologies to newspapers, periodicals, parliamentary records and other historical data, with a focus on tracing changing concepts over time.

RSEs at Dutch research organizations

At the present moment probably only a handful of people at any Dutch research organization would recognize the term ‘RSE’, even if the abbreviation were spelt out in full. The underlying problem, however, is not so much that the term RSE in not common usage yet, but the general lack of recognition of the people who identify with what the term RSE stands for. In this respect the situation in the Netherlands is not very different from anywhere else. One of the ambitions of the Netherlands eScience Center is to push forward recognition of RSEs on the local and national levels, and in this way contribute to change on the European level. In this talk I will briefly discuss the current situation in the Netherlands, moving outwards from the Netherlands eScience Center itself towards more general developments in research, research funding and research policy.


Harry Buhrman

Hosting organization