Secretary of Energy Steven Chu, U.S. Department of Energy. Acting Under Secretary David Sandalow, U.S. Department of Energy

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1 T: Cc: Secretary f Energy Steven Chu, U.S. Department f Energy Acting Under Secretary David Sandalw, U.S. Department f Energy Frm: Steven Ashby, Deputy Directr fr Science & Technlgy, Pacific Nrthwest Natinal Labratry Dana Christensen, Deputy Directr fr Science & Technlgy, Natinal Renewable Energy Lab Dna Crawfrd, Assciate Directr f Cmputatin, Lawrence Livermre Natinal Labratry Date: Wednesday, Nvember 7, 2012 Subject: Grand Challenges Wrkshp n Advanced Cmputing fr Energy Innvatin Overarching Recmmendatin: Establish an Advanced Cmputing fr Energy (ACE) prgram within the Department f Energy Based n the bservatins, findings, and recmmendatins f this wrkshp, the need fr an Advanced Cmputing fr Energy (ACE) prgram t transfrm industrial innvatin in energy is apparent. This prgram wuld d fr energy innvatin what the ASC prgram did fr stckpile stewardship and what SciDAC did fr scientific discvery. ACE wuld cmplement ASC and SciDAC by fcusing n the cmmercial hardening and disseminatin f mdeling, simulatin, and analytics sftware and access t mid-range cmputing resurces t demnstrably speed the testing, evaluatin, and deplyment f new energy prducts and services t the marketplace. 1. Intrductin: On July 31-August 2, 2012 we had the privilege f chairing the Wrkshp n Grand Challenges f Advanced Cmputing fr Energy Innvatin. This letter prvides a preliminary verview f the wrkshp, its findings, and recmmendatins frm the Wrkshp Chairs. It will be fllwed up by a full DOE reprt in January The purpse f the wrkshp was t build n the three previusly related wrkshps that examined the ptential rle f advanced cmputing fr energy innvatin. This wrkshp fcused specifically n identifying grand challenges f achieving the full ptential f using the Department f Energy s advanced cmputing resurces t impact the energy future f the United States. This wrkshp fcused n High Impact Cmputing, aimed at helping the private energy industry and DOE energy prgrams t mre fully explit the pwer f advanced cmputing in mre rapidly mving technlgy int the marketplace. 2. Definitins: Fr purpses f the wrkshp, the fllwing definitins were used: Advanced Cmputing advanced develpment and use f mdeling and simulatin sftware, enabling middleware and hardware, and infrmatin analytics. 1

2 Energy innvatin creatin and adptin f better prducts, prcesses, services, and technlgies, t prduce, mve, stre, and use energy. 3. Wrkshp Descriptin: The wrkshp was an invitatin based wrkshp fcused n bringing tgether industries, cmputing cmpanies, academia, and DOE and its natinal labratries. Apprximately 100 participants assembled fr the fcused discussins and tutrials ver a three day perid. Cllquia n the first day prvided attendees an verview f the advanced cmputing challenges and an understanding f cmmercial and DOE resurces t help vercme them. The first part f day tw was spent in plenary sessins during which panel discussins were used t prvide infrmatin abut specific challenges and success stries where the Department f Energy and cmmercial cmpanies had vercme the challenges f using advanced cmputing fr energy innvatin. There was als a panel sessin fr cmmercial cmpanies wh were interested in, but nt yet using advanced cmputing fr energy innvatin. The last day and a half f the wrkshp was spent in breakut sessins where specific advanced cmputing challenges and ptential slutins were discussed. These breakuts were cncluded with a plenary sessin in which the breakut grup results were presented and discussed. In rder t facilitate the discvery f advanced cmputing challenges and t develp actinable recmmendatins, the wrkshp pursued three lines f inquiry. These lines were reflected in the cllquia, the panel sessins, and the breakut grups. Participants in the varius sessins were aligned t these discussin fcus areas. The lines f discussin were: Department f Energy advanced cmputing users: DOE prgrams that are users r ptential users f advanced cmputing t supprt their energy innvatin missins. Existing cmmercial advanced cmputing users: Energy industries wh are successfully using advanced cmputing fr energy innvatin Ptential cmmercial advanced cmputing users: Energy industries that appreciate the ptential f advanced cmputing t help innvatin, but are nt currently taking advantage f thse capabilities. 4. Summary f Wrkshp Challenges: During the curse f preparing fr and hlding the wrkshp, it became apparent there were three distinct types f Grand Challenges. The distinctins are imprtant because the actins needed t vercme ne type f Grand Challenge will be different frm the actins needed fr anther type. We believe that understanding the different types f mdeling and simulatin Grand Challenges may be ne f the significant findings f the wrkshp. 2

3 Technical Grand Challenges: These challenges cncern the technical ability f advanced cmputing t address energy innvatin needs. Issues include: The advanced cmputing capabilities develped by the DOE natinal labratries ffer tremendus pprtunities t enhance U.S. energy innvatin. Hwever, these tls are currently inaccessible t many innvatrs because f the level f expertise needed t prductively use them t address energy innvatin prblems. DOE develped advanced cmputing technlgies are nt immediately suitable fr a particular use by energy innvatrs. These capabilities must be tailred t a particular use. Als, mst imprtantly, the capabilities must be validated t ensure that results can be trusted. As advanced cmputing transitins frm peta-scale t exa-scale cmputers, there are a number f challenges that must be cnsidered. These include new prgramming mdels and the ability t adapt existing mdeling and simulatin sftware. This transitin will undubtedly impact the ability f energy innvatrs t take advantage f the pwer f the new cmputing architectures. Structural Grand Challenges: These challenges pertain t the transfer and use f DOE advanced cmputing resurces (hardware and sftware) fr energy innvatin in cmmercial envirnments. Issues include: Energy innvatrs and their supprting advanced cmputing technlgy vendrs (sftware and hardware) are interested in learning what is being dne at the natinal labratries. Hwever, they have fund it difficult t understand what is happening at the DOE labs and hw they might participate in the research and develpment activities. The wrking relatinship between the Independent Sftware Vendrs (ISVs) and the natinal labratries needs t be imprved. The wrkshp fund that this is an imprtant relatinship because ISVs ffer a means t adapt and maintain DOE develped advanced cmputing capabilities fr particular uses by energy innvatrs. The ability f DOE develped advanced cmputing t assist energy innvatrs has been limited by the prcess and pace f cmpleting technlgy transfer agreements. Cmpanies are finding that the tech transfer prcess takes t lng and there is t much uncertainty in the resulting agreement. Als, cmpanies are finding that each labratry and DOE Operatins Office has its wn unique tech transfer prcess. Incentive Grand Challenges: Even if technically useful advanced cmputing capabilities exist and the means f leveraging thse capabilities are in place, private cmpanies and the 3

4 labratries need t have prper incentives t make investments needed t implement the use f advanced cmputing fr energy innvatin. Issues include: The wrkshp fund that in many cases, energy innvatin cmpanies were interested in using advanced cmputing. Hwever, given the large initial investment required, they were unwilling t adpt unprven technlgy and wanted shrt-term access t DOE capabilities t determine the value fr their wn applicatin. Cmpanies generally d nt have the in-huse expertise t take advantage f DOE natinal labratry develped advanced cmputing capabilities and are unwilling t make investments in hiring that expertise withut a firm understanding f the return n the investment. U.S. energy innvatrs wuld benefit frm the temprary exchange f natinal labratry and industry advanced cmputing staff t help cmpanies use and understand the benefits f these technlgies. DOE and its natinal labratries need a better understanding f the pprtunities t impact energy innvatrs thrugh advanced cmputing. 5. Summary f Wrkshp Recmmendatins: During the breakut sessins there was a great deal f discussin abut what shuld be dne t address the abve findings. Numerus suggestins were made, which have been cnslidated int fur majr recmmendatins: Imprve the usability and availability f DOE-develped advanced cmputing slutins The DOE, largely thrugh its labratries, develps advanced cmputing mdeling, simulatin, and analytics sftware fr its varius energy, science, and security prgrams. Mre ften than nt, this sftware is develped fr expert users in supprt f research activities. This sftware must be hardened fr cmmercial use by nn-experts. In particular, greater attentin must be paid t usability and extensibility, as well as t incrpratin f the sftware in existing innvatin wrkflw prcesses. Industry participants als nted that it was t difficult t learn abut relevant cmputing capabilities, including available sftware and hardware. Here the DOE shuld: simplify access t cmputing resurces at the labs, including allwance f in-kind cntributins t meet full cst recvery requirements create a few single pints-f-cntact (web, , and telephne) t facilitate identificatin by industry f relevant advanced cmputing capabilities and resurces within the DOE and the DOE labs engage relevant and qualified ISVs t partner with the labs t mature and harden their sftware (see the next recmmendatin) Engage the Independent Sftware Vendr (ISV) cmmunity t prmte energy innvatin 4

5 The DOE shuld design and implement an utreach prgram t relevant and qualified ISVs. As heard during the wrkshp, ISVs figure prminently in mst cmpanies use f sftware. Few cmpanies have the wherewithal t develp and maintain their wn mdeling, simulatin and analytics sftware. Mrever, the labs are ill equipped (financially r culturally) t fill this rle. ISVs help bridge the research capabilities f the labs and the cmmercial needs f cmpanies. Fr example, they harden, adapt, and custmize lab-develped sftware fr use by industry, including cmpanies in the energy sectr. Elements f this utreach prgram might include: regular frums that bring tgether industry and labratry persnnel engaged in the develpment and use f advanced cmputing slutins fr energy innvatin incentives t engage ISVs in the hardening and deplyment f DOE-develped advanced cmputing capabilities incentives t encurage ISVs t mdify their licensing mdel t facilitate greater use f parallel prcessing pwer via mid-range cmputing resurces representatin f the ISV cmmunity in the prpsed Advanced Cmputing subcmmittee f SEAB (see next recmmendatin) Enact plicies that will facilitate adptin f advanced cmputing fr energy innvatin Industry participants at this wrkshp, as well as all three industry-labratry wrkshps held this year, cited numerus bureaucratic and plicy barriers t wrking with the labs and DOE. It is essential that DOE review and revise plicies related t technlgy transfer, access t cmputing resurces, and engagement f labratry expertise. Fr example: develp a standard, simplified sftware licensing agreement either direct fund r increase (e.g., duble) the amunt f verhead funding that labs can devte t technlgy transfer activities and encurage the increased flexibility t be used fr maturatin and hardening f lab-develp advanced cmputing sftware wrk with ISVs t develp a sftware licensing business mdel that will encurage the use f parallel prcessing pwer establish an Advanced Cmputing subcmmittee f the Secretary f Energy s Advisry Bard (SEAB) t guide DOE advanced cmputing plicy Establish an Advanced Cmputing fr Energy (ACE) prgram within the Department f Energy In ur view, the best way t implement the abve recmmendatins t speed energy innvatin thrugh advanced cmputing is t create a prgram fcused n this imprtant utcme. This prgram wuld d fr energy innvatin what the ASC prgram did fr stckpile stewardship and what SciDAC did fr scientific discvery. ACE wuld cmplement ASC and SciDAC by fcusing n the cmmercial hardening and disseminatin f mdeling, simulatin, and analytics sftware and access t mid-range cmputing resurces t demnstrably speed the testing, evaluatin, and deplyment f new energy prducts and services t the marketplace. Key elements f this prgram might include: establishment f easily-accessible advanced cmputing centers fcused n energy innvatin 5

6 access t lab-based advanced cmputing resurces, including hardware, sftware, and cnsulting expertise funding t imprve the usability f DOE-develped mdeling, simulatin, and analytics sftware afrementined single prtal int DOE advanced cmputing capabilities afrementined ISV engagement prgram 6. Cnclusins: Overall, the Wrkshp n the Grand Challenges f Advanced Cmputing fr Energy Innvatin was a very successful event. At the cnclusin f the wrkshp there were a number f cmplimentary cmments and encuragements frm the participants abut the imprtance and ptential impact f the wrkshp. Hwever, that impact will nly be felt when the Department acts upn the recmmendatins prvided. Thank yu nce again fr the pprtunity t chair this wrkshp. We lk frward t cmpleting ur full reprt and t assisting yu in implementing the recmmendatins. This wrkshp and the previus three wrkshps have cnfirmed the imprtance f DOE advanced cmputing t impact the energy future f the United States. We strngly supprt the actins needed t make that visin a reality fr the cuntry. CC: David Danielsn, Assistant Secretary fr EERE Patricia Hffman, Assistant Secretary fr OE Peter Lyns, Assistant Secretary fr NE Charles McCnnell, Assistant Secretary fr FE Clin McCrmick, Assistant t the Undersecretary fr Energy Alex Larzelere, Office f Nuclear Energy (NE-41) Sincerely yurs, Steven Ashby Dana Christensen Dna Crawfrd 6

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