The VSC is a consortium of five Flemish universities. This consortium has no legal personality. Its objective is to build a Tier-1 and Tier-2 infrastructure in accordance with the European pyramid model. Staff appointed at five Flemish universities form an integrated team dedicated to training and user support.
For specialized support each institution can appeal to an expert independent of where he or she is employed. The universities also invest in HPC infrastructure and the VSC can appeal to the central services of these institutions. In addition, embedment in an academic environment creates opportunities for cooperation with industrial partners.
VSC’s operation is, to a large extent, controlled by the HPC Decree of 5 July 2013. This decree made the Hercules Foundation responsible for the structural funding of HPC in Flanders and for managing the Tier-1 infrastructure. The composition of the Board of Directors of the Hercules Foundation was adjusted to reinforce the role of strategic research institutes in Flanders. With the restructuring of research funding in Flanders taking effect on January 1, 2016, the Research Foundation - Flanders (FWO) toke over the role of the Hercules Foundation as the latter was liquidated in this new structure.
Operationally, the VSC is controlled by the HPC workgroup consisting of employees from the FWO and HPC coordinators from the various universities. The HPC workgroup meets monthly. During these meetings operational issues are discussed and agreed upon and strategic advice is offered to the Board of Directors of the FWO.
In addition, four committees are involved in the operation of the VSC: the Tier-1 user committee, the Tier-1 evaluation committee, the Industrial Board and the Scientific Advisory Board.
Tier-1 users' committee
The task of this committee is to map users’ needs and to discuss the developments being made. The committee advises the FWO about the way the Tier-1 infrastructure operates and about the drafting of the specifications for the renewal of the infrastructure.
These members of the committee are given below in alphabetical order, according to which university they are associated with:
- Michele Giugliano (AUHA)
- Wouter Herrebout (AUHA)
- Frank De Proft (UAB)
- Marie-Françoise Reyniers (AUGent)
- Dirk Van den Poel (AUGent)
- Veronique Van Speybroeck (AUGent)
- Niel Hens (AU-HL)
- Nele Moelans (KU Leuven association)
- Dirk Roose (KU Leuven association)
- Nicole van Lipzig (KU Leuven association)
The members representing the strategic research institutes are
- Clemens Mensink (VITO)
- Steven Maere (VIB)
- Jan Fostier (imec, formerly iMinds)
- Wilfried Verachtert (imec)
The member appointed by the Flemish government is:
- Francisco Hernandez (VLIZ)
This committee evaluates applications for computing time on the Tier-1. Based upon admissibility and other evaluation criteria the committee grants the appropriate computing time.
This committee is composed as follows:
- Walter Lioen, chairman (SURFsara, The Netherlands);
- Derek Green (Computer Science, Brunel University London, UK);
- Sadaf Alam (CSCS, Switzerland);
- Nicole Audiffren (Cines, France);
- Gavin Pringle (EPCC, UK).
The FWO provides the secretariat of the committee.
The Industrial Board acts as an advisory board for the FWO and the VSC. Their task is to devise a policy to increase the involvement of Flemish industry in High Performance Computing and to stimulate cooperation with the VSC. The policy also aims to effectively promote the use of supercomputing in the development of innovative products and services. The chairman/chairwoman of the council has a business background.
The following members of the advisory board were appointed by the Flemish Government, on 21st February 2014: Mia Vanstraelen (chairwoman), Herman Van der Auweraer, Ludo Lauwers, Christian Van de Sande, Saskia Van Uffelen, and Charles Hirsch.