Time flies and here we are, well into the second year of the project. As it happens, every cycle comes to an end, we look back and think about what we have achieved during the last twelve months and what we expect from the year to come. This article provides an insight into the achievements, challenges and milestones of the partners during this first year. As we move forward, we also lay the groundwork for future efforts, recognising lessons learned and paving the way for even greater innovation and impact in the time that still lies ahead for the project.

We asked our partners about the progress made during the first year of the project, and their expectations for year two. This is what they said.

IT4Innovations at VSB-TUO

It was exciting for us to launch a new European project that will build an Extreme Data analytics platform that brings together data storage systems and powerful computing infrastructures by using supercomputers and cloud technologies. IT4Innovations, as the coordinator, is responsible for the overall management of the project and strives for its successful completion. We initiated all activities with the kick-off meeting focusing on the overall coordination of all partners. The EXA4MIND Platform architecture was drafted leveraging our application cases requirements from the agriculture, automotive and health domains. In the second year of the project, we would like to introduce the first demonstration of application cases that will use all technologies of the EXA4MIND project.

IT4Innovations also started the activities of its scientific application case which focuses on the systematic improvement of molecular simulations and accuracy. We are quite optimistic about the progress made by the EXA4MIND project and Automated Data Mining System for Systematic Improvement of Molecular Dynamics simulations (ADAMS4SIMS) task during its first year. The collaborative efforts and dedication of the team have resulted in significant achievements, laying a solid foundation for the project’s success in the coming years.

Looking ahead to year 2, our scientific application case goals include advancing our capabilities further. We plan to develop a preliminary version of a program for automatic analyses, streamlining our workflow and enhancing efficiency. Simultaneously, we are working on a preliminary version of a comprehensive database for storing simulations, providing a robust platform for data management and retrieval. These initiatives will contribute significantly to the project’s overall success and pave the way for continued advancements.

BADW-LRZ

The most important results and milestones in the first year have certainly been those related to co-design and architecture. It was mainly about a common understanding of the technical setting, and choosing the suitable systems. We are very happy that we progressed a great deal on that. We talked about data flow patterns, and our architecture principles, and we explored many different data management systems to be considered. Also, the first workflows from the application cases have been run at our supercomputing centres.

In year two, we will go beyond this get-to-know and deep exploration that we have done. We expect first application-specific data systems to be filled and utilised within compute-heavy workflows. It will be exciting to explore the performance and see new interfaces being implemented, e.g. Advanced Querying and Indexing System (AQIS). Going more into the special role of the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (BADW-LRZ), the data-management side, we have to evolve interfaces from database management systems to supercomputing systems and European data spaces. The more we achieve, the more time we have in year three to optimise systems and demonstrate performance gains in Extreme Data analytics – the ultimate goal of the project. Busy, but very promising times ahead!

Terraview

In the first year of this project, we marked an important advancement for Terraview. Our Aquaview platform was launched, pioneering sensorless soil moisture analysis and prediction using satellite data.

Moving onto the second year of the project, we will increasingly integrate the data processing and modelling workflows used by Aquaview to leverage the HPC capabilities at IT4Innovations, accelerating our computing capabilities and exploring the benefits of natural language querying (NLQ) of our data.

METU

Starting a new project is always exciting and challenging. Our first year has passed quickly with intense work on putting the requirements on the table and building a common technical language among the partners from various fields. Having made significant progress on these, we had a big step towards developing AQIS for exascale data processed on High Performance Computing (HPC) systems. We have sketched the initial version of the infrastructure to handle the wide variety in the data model requirements for the application cases and have started working on a natural language-based querying solution as a unified interface.

Now that we have progressed well in collecting the requirements and started sketching the solutions, next year we will focus more on progressing the research aspects and the first version of the deployed modules. We look forward to the opportunity to witness a live system operating on HPC clusters, delivering significant contributions to our industry partners and we also hope to leverage large language models on specific use cases & increase research efforts on certain types of databases. There are lots of challenges and excitement ahead of us!

Altrnativ

2023 has been covered by key milestones such as the realisation of the LEXIS Platform connector in our Graphical User Interface and the refinement of the application case through the realisation of the data management plan and the NLQ request.

In 2024, Altrnativ is bringing more collaborators on board to ensure consistency of data pipelines and realisation of the planned application case. This will allow the acceleration of the deliverables in the project.

CIIRC CTU

As CIIRC CTU in Prague, we are content with the progress in the project’s inaugural year. Our satisfaction stems from an effective collaboration with Valeo and other partners. Positive communication and impactful face-to-face meetings have been pivotal in guiding us toward successful outcomes.

This year, we will focus on sustaining a fruitful collaboration with Valeo, utilising their data to enhance our research endeavours. Additionally, we aim to distil our insights into a scientific paper, contributing disseminating of knowledge in our field.

VALEO and VALEO.ai

During the first year of the project, Valeo and Valeo.ai accomplished all the goals targeted in the project plan. Great cooperation was set up with partners in the whole consortium. On top of that, Valeo and Valeo.ai, in cooperation with CIIRC CTU, submitted seven scientific papers to the top AI journals and conferences, out of which four were accepted and published (two journals, two conferences) and three are awaiting review (one journal, two conferences).

In 2024, the most significant challenges for Valeo are collecting and processing the first petabyte of data. For Valeo.ai the main task is to continue training machine learning models for automatic data exploration and filling up the database with extracted information in cooperation with CIIRC CTU, and also keep publishing scientific papers. Last but not least, Valeo, Valeo.ai and CIIRC CTU will create the first tools operating with AI models as well as smart database querying.

EURAXENT

2023 being the first year of the project, a key achievement was to develop successfully a strong collaboration with all partners of the consortium. With this, EURAXENT has been in a position to start working on the technical specificities of the Key Exploitable Assets with the perspective of evaluating their exploitation paths and strategies.

In 2024, EURAXENT wants to develop with all partners an extensive exploitation plan, adapted to a target delivery of the project at TRL5, and prepare a supporting platform (EXAKI –  EXA4MIND kick-starter) for organisations (SMEs, Research & Academic teams, other EU funded projects, large industries and services suppliers, etc.) planning on capitalising on the results of EXA4MIND in order to develop further solutions.

AUSTRALO

The first year of the project has been really exciting for us as we launched such an exciting and innovative project. Working with partners from all over Europe and from sectors such as industry, technology, automotive, and universities has helped us create a cohesive view of the complex field of Extreme Data so that we can communicate clearly and coherently to the general public and other relevant stakeholders. EXA4MIND is now an established brand and its communication channels are in full swing.

In 2024, we are focusing on strengthening our relationships with our stakeholders, potentially developing joint activities built upon our research synergies; expanding the community interested in the project; promoting EXA4MIND activity; and disseminating the research advancements and publications through our communication & dissemination channels.

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