How to seize the I4MS success opportunities in practice
Interview with I4MS Disruptor Award Winner, Clara García, from Compass: “The experiment has helped us to offer new services and optimize our tools”
Today, we speak with Clara García, leading engineer from the SME Compass, participant of the Fortissimo project and winner of the Disruptor Award, with their application experiment: “HPC Cloud-based seakeeping design”. The prize was handed over in Varsaw in Nov 2018. In this interview, we explore with her their overall I4MS Experience, and how it is helping them to grow and scale their business.
Clara, how was the Compass situation before the award, both at the company and experiment level?
Compass is a company specialized in the development of software for engineering, with an experience of more than 15 years providing solutions and numerical tools in different branches of engineering and providing consulting services for the design.
Since its inception Compass has collaborated with engineering companies in different fields but also with research and technology transfer centers. These collaborations have helped us to offer innovative solutions to our customers. In this context, participation in the experiment has allowed us to offer new services that increase the performance of our applications thanks to the computing power offered by the inclusion of HPC infrastructures. In particular, the experiment has given us the opportunity to optimize our tools for the analysis of the effect of waves, wind and currents in naval and oceanic structures, as well as for studies of manoeuvrability. The integration of our most advanced solutions for the study of behaviour at sea in supercomputing centres allows us to offer precise solutions of numerical simulation with reasonable calculation times within the design process of the companies.
In this context, the Fortissimo project has provided us with an unvaluable collaboration with the Technology Centre of Supercomputing of Galicia (CESGA) and the International Center for Numerical Methods for Engineering (CIMNE), which have contributed with their knowledge and help at all times, that’s is a incredible added value for SMEs like us. In addition, we have had companies whose role as end users has provided us with valuable feedback throughout the process of defining and implementing the experiment. These companies have been VICUSdt, an SME specialized in design and analysis engineering for shipbuilding, navigation, offshore and energy industries; and WavEC, an SME specialized in the design and evaluation of offshore devices for the use of renewable energy.
How was your personal experience during the DIH annual event in Varsaw, networking with first level public officials and other actors? Did they become somehow useful contacts?
On a personal level, it has been a real pleasure to receive the award from two very important women in the world of technology, such as the Commissioner Mariya Gabriel and the Minister of Entrepreneurship and Technology of Poland, Jadwiga Emilewicz.
The DIH event has been a place to exchange experiences with other companies and national and European organizations. It has allowed us to disseminate our work and meet other companies, as well as share our opinions with representatives of different Spanish and European entities. Seeds have been planted, now they need time to grow.
Has this award had any impact internally or externally?
As a result of the award and the diffusion that it has had, we have established new contacts with national and international companies. The impact has been positive.
At a more internal level, For Compass, the award has been a recognition of our work in the search for innovative solutions that allow us to continue growing as a company. it encourages us to continue working and looking for the best solutions for our clients; to continue looking for collaborations with other companies and institutions that allow us to continue learning. The technological challenges have always been an incentive for Compass, know we know we were doing the right thing.
What expectations did you have? Have they been fulfilled?
Frankly, we did not have very clear expectations about the impact of receiving this award. We had in mind that it would be a great opportunity to disseminate the solution of the experiment, but also of the company and the range of products and services that we can offer in other areas of engineering. In this sense, little by little we are noticing this repercussion, as everything counts and is early to see results but so far as it has been very possitive.
What problems have you found or would you improve?
We would like to be able to reach more companies in sectors where our technological solutions can give added value. Software development companies that we could complement by solving some step of the process with our software modules, as well as companies that need solutions based on numerical methods to improve their productivity.
In our case, it is essential to have the opportunity to show our capabilities, for that it is essential to know our potential customers and understand their needs very well. The events that facilitate or encourage this type of encounter are of great importance so that not only synergies are created, but that they give rise to commercial relationships.
A prize like this helps SMEs to make themselves known and to advance in the process of converting the result of the experiment into a successful service, through training and information, but more work towards proactive outreach would be an asset.
Medium-term objectives, vision of the future from here.
As a result of the experiment, an interface has been implemented between the end user and the supercomputing center, where our advanced sea behavior analysis software has been integrated, SeaFEM. This solution allows the simulation to be carried out from a local machine, using all the capabilities of the supercomputing center in a transparent way to the user. The results of the experiment have been successful and the service is currently available in Fortissimo’s MarketPlace we hope that this solution becomes a reality for small and large companies in the sector, improving their competitiveness.
What do you expect from your participation in the MWC 2019?
It is great to be able to participate in the MWC 2019 and present our technological solution in the Tech4Corporates event organized by I4MS. We hope that this participation will again provide us with more information; It will be a good experience and it will allow us to continue letting us know. In addition, participation in the MWC should serve us to expand our field of action by disseminating our work within a wider sector of industry and engineering that we move in our day-to-day activities.
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Written by Juan Antonio Pavón Losada, Dissemination & Communication EU Projects at Mobile World Capital