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H2020 | exaFOAM - Exploitation of exascale systems for open-source computational fluid dynamics by mainstream industry


April 2021


March 2024



Open-source modelling software will be going with the supercomputing flow

Computers have revolutionised design, development and testing. They enable us to simulate real physical processes and systems with high accuracy without having to rely on expensive and time-consuming experimental campaigns. Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) models that predict heat and mass transfer in fluids are instrumental to fields from aerospace and environmental engineering to biology and medicine. The EU-funded exaFOAM project is introducing improvements with a focus on the open-source CFD software OpenFOAM, which has been wildly successful in academics and industry. Its algorithms are getting an update to harness advanced massively parallel high-performance computing architectures, ushering in a new era of innovation supported by accessible and powerful modelling technology.


Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) has become a mature technology in engineering design, contributing strongly to industrial competitiveness and sustainability across a wide range of sectors (e.g. transportation, power generation, disaster prevention). Future growth depends upon the exploitation of massively parallel HPC architectures, however this is currently hampered by performance scaling bottlenecks.

The ambitious exaFOAM project aims to overcome these limitations through the development and validation of a range of algorithmic improvements. Improvements across the entire CFD process chain (pre-processing, simulation, I/O, post-processing) will be developed. Effectiveness will be demonstrated via a suite of HPC Grand Challenge and Industrial Application Challenge cases. All developments will be implemented in the open-source CFD software OpenFOAM, one of the most successful open-source projects in the area of computational modelling, with a large industrial and academic user base.

To ensure success, the project mobilises a highly-capable consortium consisting of experts in HPC, CFD algorithms and industrial applications and includes universities, HPC centres, code release authorities and SMEs. Project management will be facilitated by a clear project structure and quantified objectives enable tracking of the project progress.

Special emphasis will be placed on ensuring a strong impact of the exaFOAM project. The project has been conceived to address all expected impacts set out in the Work Programme. All developed code and validation cases will be released as open-source to the community in coordination with the OpenFOAM Governance structure. The involvement of 17 industrial supporters and stakeholders from outside the consortium underscores the industrial relevance of the project outcomes. A well-structured and multi-channelled plan for dissemination and exploitation of the project outcomes further reinforces the expected impact.

More info: https://cordis.europa.eu/project/id/956416 ↗

Project details

Grant agreement ID



H2020-EU.2.1.1. - INDUSTRIAL LEADERSHIP - Leadership in enabling and industrial technologies - Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) MAIN PROGRAMME


H2020-EU. - Next generation computing: Advanced and secure computing systems and technologies, including cloud computing Topic(s)




EuroHPC-03-2019 - Industrial software codes for extreme scale computing environments and applications

Start date

01-04-2021 | Length: 36 months