American University of Beirut

Cutting edge High-Performance Computing for Lebanon facility launched

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Sally Abou Melhem, Office of Communications,​​​​​​​​​

In an event that marked a significant milestone in Lebanon's scientific research and technological advancement, the state-of-the-art High-Performance Computing for Lebanon (HPC4L) facility was launched under the auspices of the President of the Council of Ministers in Lebanon Najib Mikati. The event was hosted by the Lebanese Ministry of Telecommunications, in collaboration with the HPC4L steering committee.

Established in 2018, HPC4L is a consortium of public and private institutions in Lebanon for the purpose of advancing computation research in Lebanon based on the generous HPC donation by the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) and CMS (the Compact Muon Solenoid experiment at CERN). The public partners are the Ministry of Telecommunications in Lebanon; OGERO, the executive arm of the Ministry of Telecommunications in Lebanon; the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS), and the Lebanese University. The private partners are the American University of Beirut, the Lebanese American University, Saint Joseph University, the Holy Spirit University of Kaslik, and the Beirut Arab University. 

Kicking off the event, moderator Jessy Tannous extended a warm welcome to the distinguished audience and guests. The program commenced with an enlightening video introduction showcasing different phases of the project since its inception and highlighting the important role of OGERO. By providing a cutting edge data center and the necessary high speed international internet connection to Geneva, OGERO has emerged as the backbone and enabler of this initiative, as stated by OGERO Chairman Imad Kreidieh.

Head of IT at CERN Enrica Porcari shed light on CERN's collaboration with Lebanon as well as their hardware donation to HPC4L, highlighting their commitment to supporting innovative initiatives.

Subsequently, CMS spokesperson Patricia McBride shared valuable insights about the training of Lebanese experts by CMS, sharing their expertise, and further strengthening the collaboration between CERN/CMS and Lebanon.

CERN adviser for the MENA region Martin Gastal expressed gratitude towards the generous donors and all stakeholders who played a pivotal role in the success of the HPC4L project in spite of the difficulties that the project faced, its success was the fruit of resilience and hard work furnished by all parties concerned.

American University of Beirut Provost Zaher Dawy, representing the HPC4L steering committee leadership, delivered an impactful speech emphasizing the significance of this national achievement in scientific research and technological advancement, emphasizing the importance of this public private partnership.

Scientific Director of HPC4L Haitham Zaraket, who is a faculty member at the Lebanese University, provided a comprehensive overview of HPC4L's capabilities and highlighted its unparalleled power compared to other supercomputers in Lebanon.

The event also featured addresses by Swiss Ambassador to Lebanon Marion Weichelt, reiterating Switzerland's commitment to research and the advancement of science and education; Lebanon's Minister of Telecommunications Johnny Corm, who extended thanks to everyone who helped make the project what it is today; and a keynote speech by President of the Council of Ministers Najib Mikati. Mikati saluted the remarkable efforts by all entities who have made this possible, promising them the government's full support.

Attendees had the opportunity to explore the fascinating world of HPC4L and its immense computational capacity, enabling students and researchers to achieve groundbreaking results in a fraction of the time previously required. The event fostered networking opportunities and facilitated knowledge sharing among the scientific community in Lebanon, further cementing the country's position as a hub for cutting-edge research.

HPC4L's launch event served as a testament to Lebanon's commitment to scientific progress and technological innovation. As HPC4L continues to empower researchers and elevate the scientific landscape, it paves the way for a future defined by unparalleled advancements in various fields of study.​

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