The Strategic Priorities Fund programmes will bring together a broad range of research disciplines to drive an increase in high quality multi- and interdisciplinary research and innovation.
We will be allocating funding for the Clean Air: Analysis and Solutions, UK Climate Resilience and ExCALIBUR programmes through open competition.
Current opportunities: Click on these links for further details below
Please note that these opportunities are open to UK operating and registered organisations.
Bids are invited for two separate research opportunities:
|Marine Systems (NEMO) design||£400,000||DN452395|
|UK Chemistry and Aerosol (UKCA) model design||£400,000||DN452392|
Bidding deadline: 18 March 2020, 12 noon
Estimated delivery period: 01/06/2020-31/03/2022
Summary of ExCALIBUR programme aims
Radical changes to supercomputer architectures are on the horizon. The current simulation codes, that much of UK science relies on, are designed for current supercomputer architectures. These codes will, at best, not be able to fully exploit the power that the supercomputers of the mid-2020s will deliver; at worst, they will run slower on those machines than they do now. Future computers will be more energy efficient and so the longer we rely on the current approach, the more expensive the solution will be. Therefore, it is essential that we invest now in redesigning those simulation codes so that they perform well on the future generations of supercomputers.
ExCALIBUR will meet this challenge by delivering research and innovative algorithmic development to redesign the high priority simulation codes to fully harness the power of future supercomputers across scientific and engineering applications. It will achieve this by bringing together an unprecedented range of UK domain experts, mathematicians and computational scientists who will identify common issues and opportunities in the high priority simulation codes and focus their combined scientific expertise and resources to accelerate toward interdisciplinary solutions.
The programme objectives have been designed to specifically address the benefits sought:
1. Efficiency - The UK’s most important scientific simulation codes will be able to harness the power of the supercomputers of the mid-2020s resulting in an increase in scientific productivity for a given investment.
2. Capability – Capitalising on this efficiency will enable the UK to continue to push the boundaries of science across a wide range of fields delivering transformational change in capability.
3. Expertise – A new, forward-facing, interdisciplinary approach to RSE career development will position the next generation of UK software engineers at the cutting-edge of scientific supercomputing.
ExCALIBUR is built around four pillars: separation of concerns; co-design; data science; and investing in people. These pillars describe the fundamental principles that guide the development of research under ExCALIBUR and are designed to ensure that the outcomes are future proofed against the constantly evolving landscape of hardware design. It will be delivered through six main activities: the redesign of a core set of simulation codes (use cases) chosen to span a wide range of science domains; knowledge integration across the programme through widely applicable cross-cutting themes; application of learning from these activities to a second wave of use cases; exploratory research to identify and develop emerging high-performance algorithms in areas with significant potential impact; an interdisciplinary Research Software Engineer knowledge integration activity; and an annual capital investment to support the development of novel test beds to enable co-development with industry.
Marine Systems (NEMO) design
The weather & climate system has a number of marine systems. In particular, it includes models of the ocean (NEMO-OCE), sea ice (NEMO-SI3), a system for initialising the ocean state (NEMOVAR), and a biogeochemistry model (MEDUSA). A key aspect of this subset of the marine systems is that they share similar coding standards (for example, see Appendix F of https://forge.ipsl.jussieu.fr/nemo/chrome/site/doc/NEMO/manual/pdf/NEMO_manual.pdf for NEMO’s coding standards). Those coding standards imply a specific form of code structure. Exploratory work with NEMO (the GOcean Technology Proof of Concept and more recent follow on work) has shown that, as a result of this structure, there is good potential to be able to apply the principle of the separation of concerns without having to rewrite the source codes (as needed to be done for the atmospheric model). This would then extend the applicability of the current, CPU focused, code to a much broader range of processor architectures, including GPUs, without having to rewrite the source codes. This activity will research whether it is possible to extend this exploratory, proof-of-concept, work to a more complete implementation for NEMO. It will then explore the extension to the other NEMO-like components listed above.
UK Chemistry and Aerosol (UKCA) model design
UKCA is responsible for predicting the evolution of a large number of atmospheric chemical and aerosol species and their impact on the climate, weather, and air quality. It is therefore an essential model component across all time scales and is also one of the most expensive components of the system. This activity will seek to dramatically improve the computational performance of the model as well as improving its flexibility in terms of its ease of deployment to different architectures. It will also seek to improve its general usability by allowing UKCA to stand alone from the Unified Model (UM) in a form available to the UM research community. This will facilitate more rapid development and testing of chemistry and aerosol science. These objectives will be achieved in two stages. The first will isolate the UKCA code base from the Unified Model in its own repository, develop a stand-alone UKCA driver (e.g. a box model which can drive aerosol and chemistry processes) and implement a clear testing framework. The standalone code will also pave the way for the coupling of the revised UKCA to the new system (LFRic) including use of a reduced resolution facility, work to be performed as part of the wider project. It will also facilitate the second stage of work. This stage will analyse the performance bottlenecks, propose a redesign of the appropriate aspects and then implement and test those changes to address the key bottlenecks.
The following criteria must be met by UK organisations submitting a bid against Strategic Priorities Fund (SPF) funded calls to be eligible to apply or be awarded funds against this call:
- Must be a UK operating and registered organisation.
- Consortium bids are eligible; a lead partner must be nominated for payment and agreement purposes and all parties must be UK operating and registered organisations. Details of all consortium members must be provided.
- Funding can only be used to fund new activity for the costs incurred.
- The activity must last the full duration of the Grant Award Term specified
- There must be a willingness to work with the Authority and other organisations and individuals associated with the SPF Programme.
How to Apply:
The above opportunities are advertised on the Met Office ProContract e-Tendering portal called ProContract. To access and register your interest you will need to log onto the ProContract portal via this link.
You may need to search for the Call references provided above.
You will need to register your company (if you have not already done so) and register your interest against the opportunity before you are able to access the tender documents.
If you require guidance or ‘how to’ instructions – see the supplier manuals on the right-hand side of the supplier home page.
Online Discussions between Bidders and the Met Office:
There is a Discussions function on ProContract which shall be used to provide all further information regarding this opportunity including any changes to time scales, scope or clarifications. This function must be used by bidders to submit all clarification questions.
Living with Uncertainty
£1m available for up to three awards
Closing date: 27 February 2020
Click here for details.
Present & Future Climate Hazard
£700K available for up to two awards
Closing date: 5 March 2020
Click here for details.
Embedded Researchers scheme: Phase one – call for host organisations
Closing date: 7 February 2020
Click here for details.