From dealing with flooding due to climate change to optimizing energy from sustainable sources: extensive calculation models and computer simulations can provide indispensable tools for tackling societal challenges.
That is why a broad group of representatives from science and industry had gathered to formulate a strategic National Agenda. With support of NWO and the Dutch Top Sectors, the National Agenda Computational Science was officially presented by Kees Vuik, chair of the coreteam, on 5 October to the director of Innovation and Knowledge of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate, Michiel Sweers. In this vision paper, experts explain how revolutionary computer techniques and calculation models can help to solve the grand challenges of our time. The core of the agenda consists of a roadmap and five focus areas for the future of Computational Science.
The Agenda is available in Dutch and English.
Photo credits: Annelies van ‘t Hul
Innovation of sustainable solutions with computing power
“The problems of our time, such as the transition to a sustainable future, are so complex that it is impossible to solve them on the basis of theory or experiments alone,” explains Kees Vuik, professor at TU Delft and one of the initiators of the Agenda. “In fact; to arrive at a solution in this complex matter, you have to calculate countless models and predictions, and that is only possible with (super) computers. Take, for example, the course of our rivers in a changing climate. You cannot test or theorize that, you need models and simulations for that. In other words: Computational Science.” Timo Kroon, senior projectleader at Deltares, demonstrated the relevance of Computational Science to the water sector and the water-food-energy nexus.
Strengthening the Dutch knowledge and innovation ecosystem for Computational Science is at the top of the agenda. Firstly, all the different parties and networks in Computational Science should connect with each other. In this way they can reinforce each other, exchange knowledge and realize innovations together. Another important aspect of the agenda is strengthening the Dutch computational infrastructure. In other words: more investments in hardware, such as new supercomputers, but also in the development of the necessary software. The last item on the agenda is training, attracting and retaining (international) talent. The Netherlands could become a hotbed of talent in Computational Science.
“The strength of the Netherlands lies in our productive way of working together and The National Agenda Computational Science is a perfect example of this.” – Michiel Sweers, Director of Innovation and Knowledge at the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy
A network meeting will be organized on 18 October to bring the Computational Science community together. The meeting is supported by funding from NWO, CCER, TU DELFT DCSE and Radboud University.