Who are we?

What we do

Calcul Québec’s team of highly qualified professionals keeps the research community competitive on a national and international scale by providing access to cutting-edge digital infrastructures and ensuring that researchers have the necessary skills to use them.

We share our computing clusters—or supercomputers—with thousands of researchers, mainly in Québec, but also across Canada. They power research in physics, astronomy, genomics, health and even some more surprising fields such as music and literature.

Calcul Québec offers access to an independent infrastructure, hosted in Québec, that ensures the cultivation of expertise for the economic development of the province and country.

Our activities are structured around the following poles:

  • Infrastructure and services
  • General and specialized user support
  • Training

Our mission

Calcul Québec is devoted to providing academic and research communities with state-of-the-art computing infrastructure and expertise. This contributes to the advancement of knowledge in all branches of learning and to the training of highly qualified personnel capable of efficiently operating modern computing systems.

To carry out our mission, we rely on a network of local teams distributed across a number of universities. We stay close to Québec’s research communities, coordinating our teams centrally and keeping an eye out for complementary projects and potential synergies.

A team of more than 40 people working in ten Québec universities.

Nearly 4,800 users of more than 1,100 research groups.

More than 1,000 registrations for our 45 training workshops in 2020-2021.

Approximately 450 users complete a university degree or a post-doctoral internship each year.

An annual average of more than 1,500 publications from Québec researchers have mentioned having directly used our resources.

Our structure

Calcul Québec is a non-profit organisation (NPO) whose members are academic institutions and research centres. These academic partners are the heart of our organization, both in their role in governance and as hosts for the Calcul Québec team.

Calcul Québec is a regional partner of the Digital Research Alliance of Canada and, as such, collaborates with the other regional partners (Acenet, Compute Ontario and WestGrid). We are working closely as a Federation to build the future of the digital research ecosystem in the country. Finally, Calcul Québec hosts several research projects funded by the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI).

For this work in promoting innovation and technology, our infrastructures, their exploitation and our services  are supported by the Ministère de l’Économie et de l’Innovation. We are also a platform for the Chief Scientist of Québec (FRQ).

Finally, we are a major player in the digital research infrastructure ecosystem, relying on the strong digital networks for research developed by RISQ in Québec, and CANARIE in Canada and internationally.

How to navigate the digital research ecosystem

What is

High Performance Computing (HPC) involves using dozens, hundreds or even thousands of computers to solve large-scale problems. Calculations that might take months—or even be impossible to solve on a desktop computer—are completed within hours or days with HPC.

HPC can involve:
Running a large number of independent tasks in parallel within a limited time frame.
Completing a single processing operation on very large quantities of data.
Performing a combination of the two previous cases, i.e., breaking down a complex problem into several independent subproblems and solving them in tandem on a set of coupled computers. These computers exchange data with each other during processing and ultimately resolve the problem much faster.

What is

Research data management—or RDM—is the idea that data should be viewed as valuable digital resources. Instead of simply storing them, they must be properly organized. Indeed, funding agencies now require that researchers implement RDM plans. Given the impressive scale of data hosted Calcul Québec, this is no small feat. Good practices in RDM start with the initial conceptualization of the management plan, then rigour in the use of active data, and finally the establishment of portals for sharing and reusing data at the end of a project’s life.

What is

Digital Research Infrastructure (DRI) collects all the elements needed to use computing power and megadata efficiently. It encompasses supercomputers, high-performance networking, research software and research data management. Building the future of DRI in Québec should include the following elements:
Intuitive platforms and simplified access modes.
An open and independent infrastructure for sensitive data.
Active data management support for researchers, and hosting for tools used in developing data management plans;
Support for the development of open-source software.