Managing Director's review

2019 was a year of excellent results. Our targets were mainly reached both in Finland and internationally. Finland also secured a contract on hosting significant European infrastructure in the form of the EuroHPC high-performance computing project. The consortium of nine countries led by CSC came first in the project evaluation, and one of the world’s most powerful computing environments will now be built at Kajaani datacenter. This project worth over EUR 200 million will serve both Finnish and European research and industries in the areas of data, computing and AI research.

During the past year, the first phases of the upgraded national data computing capacity were also commissioned. The DL2021 project put this capacity at the disposal of not only higher education institutions but also research institutes, promoting national cooperation. The project comes with significant investments in competence development, helping to maximise the efficiency of hardware use. In addition to capacity which is competitive by international standards, research groups will have access to expert support in data management as well as methodology and software development.

CSC’s activities were improved not only in services for research – including computing, data and software – but also in such other areas as digital teaching and learning services, higher education institutions’ data collections, services for archives and libraries as well as electronic user authentication. The public administration, education, and higher education institutions’ information administration were more active as customer groups, and service provision in these sectors will continue to grow. The personnel numbers grew further and exceeded 400 in 2019. As in previous years, CSC offered training on a large scale in 2019 – courses in different areas were organised both in CSC’s and customers’ facilities. The significance of advancing digitalisation and the cooperation associated with it in higher education increased significantly last year. CSC participated in this development as an active stakeholder.

The volume of EU projects grew again in 2019. CSC carries extensive responsibilities for coordinating projects and leading work packages. This means that we have better possibilities of influencing the direction these activities take, with a view to addressing the needs of Finnish users as well as possible. In addition to the EuroHPC project, the Elixir project in bioinformatics, PRACE cooperation on high-performance computing, and EUDAT and EOSC data management projects (European Open Science Cloud) were highly significant. A number of other EU projects of different sizes were also underway. CSC obtained a considerable amount of external competitive funding both through these EU-funded projects and also national FIRI infrastructure projects. This funding will be used to develop high-quality services which reinforce the competitiveness of Finnish research..

The foundation for CSC’s operation is laid by the company’s values: together we can and care – responsibly. Rather than only succeeding in reaching CSC’s targets, our first and foremost goal is supporting Finland’s ability to do well internationally and helping our customers succeed. This way we can improve competitiveness and create better operating conditions in Finland. The most important role in reaching the targets is played by CSC’s competent and continuously learning personnel.

Kimmo Koski

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