The Barcelona Supercomputing Center opens its new corporate headquarters, the BSC-Repsol Building
The Barcelona Supercomputing Center - National Supercomputing Center (BSC-CNS) started activity at its new corporate headquarters, the BSC-REPSOL Building, in Plaza Eusebi Güell 1-3, Barcelona. The regional minister for Research and Universities, Gemma Geis; the secretary general for Research at the Ministry of Science and Innovation, Raquel Yotti; the rector of the UPC, Daniel Crespo; the chairman of the Repsol Foundation, Antonio Brufau; and the director of the BSC-CNS, Mateo Valero, took part today in a brief ceremony to celebreate the start-up of what is already one of the largest scientific and technological facilities in Barcelona.
The new Barcelona Supercomputing Center headquarters is 12,000 m2 and has four floors, 530 workstations, 35 meeting rooms, two training rooms, an auditorium, and various meeting points to promote the exchange of knowledge among researchers.
Two thirds of the BSC staff will be located at this headquarters, and the rest, up to 765 workers, will be stationed in nearby buildings that, like the BSC-REPSOL Building, are in the Torre Girona gardens.
The BSC-REPSOL Building cost 19.6 million euros and was financed thanks to contributions from trustess of the center (Ministry of Science and Innovation, Department of Research and Universities of the Generalitat de Catalunya, and the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya), the collaboration of the Repsol Foundation, and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).
The new BSC-CNS building is connected, through a walkway, to what has been the most emblematic building in the center so far, the Torre Girona chapel, which currently houses the MareNostrum 4 supercomputer. A new room for supercomputers is being built in its basements, which will allow for the expansion of the installation of supercomputing infrastructures to allow for greater volume and capacity, such as the future MareNostrum 5. When this happens, the Torre Girona chapel will remain an iconic and visitable space, housing top-level supercomputing and data infrastructures.
The director of the BSC-CNS, Mateo Valero, stressed that "this new building symbolizes, in some way, the growth that the BSC-CNS has experienced in little more than 15 years of existence", and affirmed that "one of its fundamental contributions is that it will allow greater interaction between the more than 600 researchers at the center, who until recently were spread across different buildings and will now have meeting points to exchange ideas, experiences, and create new synergies."
The regional minister for Research and Universities of the Government of Catalunya, Gemma Geis, highlighted the "strategic role played by the BSC-CNS as a driving force for cutting-edge research on an international scale, and as a driver of technology transfer and innovation for the Catalan economy.”
The secretary general for Research, Raquel Yotti, highlighted that the “Barcelona Supercomputing Center - National Supercomputing Center is a leading center in Europe and Spain for supercomputing initiatives. Its leadership is exemplary in Europe, as part of Spain’s contribution to initiatives that seek to advance towards European digital sovereignty. In Spain, the BSC has coordinated and lead the Spanish Supercomputing Network since 2007, with 13 hubs distributed across 11 Autonomous Communities collaborating to provide computer and data services to the research community. The firm committment from the Spanish Government, which provides 60% of the center's financing, together with contributions from the Generalitat de Catalunya and the UPC, made it possible to undertake significant investments in MareNostrum supercomputers.
Open house weekend
The BSC wants the general public to join them in celebrating the inauguration of the new headquarters, and especially the residents of the Les Corts district, where its facilities are located. To do so, an open house weekend and popular activities have been organized. These activities are part of the Barcelona Deep Collage Festival, a meeting in which researchers, citizens, and artists share their experiences from the COVID-19 pandemic and the interactions between science, technology, and daily life during this time. An agenda of talks, exhibitions, and workshops have been organised and integrated into the district's festival agenda. They can be found online at www.bsc.es/collage.
The festival seeks to be a meeting point between the BSC-CNS and the public, after more than a year and a half of the COVID-19 pandemic, and to highlight the role of science and technology as tools for progress. They are organized in collaboration with the Societat Barcelonina del Collage and have the support of the Barcelona City Council, through a Premis Barcelona 2020 grant.