The power of High-performance computing (HPC) infrastructure for small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs)

Call for papers for: Digital Policy, Regulation and Governance

Submission deadline: 31st January 2021

Guest editors

Nadja Damij, Newcastle Business School, Northumbria University

Email: [email protected]

Markus Abel, Ambrosys GmbH & Potsdam University

Email: [email protected]

Bill O’Gorman, Centre for Enterprise Development and Regional Economy (CEDRE), Waterford Institute of Technology

Email: [email protected]

Sergio Botelho Junior, Centre for Enterprise Development and Regional Economy (CEDRE), Waterford Institute of Technology

Email: [email protected]

Overview of special issue

With this Special Issue, we aim to critically examine and evaluate not alone SMEs benefits from using HPC infrastructure but also how and why. For this reason, the aim is to attract submissions that look into the development of SMEs’ competencies to fully appreciate, recognise and analyse real-life problems they are dealing with by using publicly available HPC infrastructure to further, and create new, bodies of knowledge.

We invite the submission of original manuscripts that advance empirical, theoretical, and conceptual understanding of using publicly available digital technologies like HPC to support and assist local, regional and national SMEs by accessing important yet expensive HPC technology that would otherwise be inaccessible.

Manuscripts must have substantial implications for theory and practice, and we welcome both empirical papers and conceptual theory development papers, as well as other genres.

As this is a policy-focused special issue, purely computer science papers are not within its scope.


High-performance computing (HPC) is one of the most relevant technologies today (Liang, et al, 2019; Kindratenko et al, 2011), being part of the so-called digital transformation, with a variety of applications in science, technology and applied research (Strohmaier et al, 2005). HPC allows digital and conventional companies to enhance their products by large-scale simulations, shape new products (in particular in life sciences, companies heavily rely on HPC), and improve their production process, (; e.g. by the “digital twin” (Fuller et al, 2020). HPC includes Big Data technologies which are recognised by large and small organisations a tool to better understand behaviour, and expand competitive advantage by developing products tailor-made for customers. All in all, both large and small companies can apply HPC to gain competitive advantage. Furthermore, it is a technology where physical proximity plays almost no role as HPC can be accessed and operated remotely. On the other hand, the access has proven to be more challenging for SMEs (Ross, 2015) as they may lack skilled resources (Surendro et al, 2012) to run the simulations as well as they have to consider data protection when sharing or transmitting data. With total worldwide connectivity, constant modification and creation of new business models, it is important for SMEs to accept the online scenarios available to them to survive and win over the competitors. Therefore, this digital technology can be used to narrow the competitiveness gap between enterprises leading the innovation and the lagging innovation regions.

This Special Issue investigates whether the rise of high-performance computing is effectively narrowing the competitiveness gap or, is the gap actually providing a wider divide by enabling the tech savvy companies to gain additional competitive advantage while at the same time creating an entry barrier for those SMEs who are yet to understand the potential of integrating such technologies to their business models. Furthermore, it investigates different aspects of the rise of high-performance computing in SMEs, business and in our society, such as related challenges, benefits and contribution for innovation and the economy. The scope by which HPC is explored in this issue incorporates managerial, policy and regional approaches for this relatively novel technology.


The key to successful utilisation of this HPC infrastructure is as much about competencies and cooperation between public HPC infrastructure and SMEs as it is about the access to this infrastructure. Unfortunately, less developed regions are not only lacking relevant infrastructure, but are also plagued by poor cooperation between the providers and businesses. Enterprises have poor competencies about problems that require HPC-based solutions, on top of equally insufficient knowledge and skills required to solve them. In fact, even when certain HPC capabilities exist in less developed regions, they are underutilised in the context of business applications.

The key aspect is to investigate how the access and the use of HPC based solutions can support SMEs to focus on delivering smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. The Special Issue investigates how SMEs are able to utilise infrastructure to test and develop products and processes, which leads to greater environmental sustainability. It will promote the inclusion of less developed regions in developments based on new technologies. There are no previous, thorough investigations on the topic, let alone a dedicated journal volume.

Indicative list of anticipated themes

  • SME’s relationship with accessing publicly available emerging technologies
  • Governance
  • Resource acquisition and allocation
  • Infrastructural innovation and collaboration
  • Publicly funded HPC infrastructure
  • Critical view of bridging SMEs and available HPC infrastructure
  • The use/benefits
  • Security and privacy – how SMEs deal with it
  • Regional, managerial, and policy approaches to the use HPC
  • Barriers impeding SMEs using HPC
  • Creating awareness and encouraging SMEs to use HPC

Real Impact

The Special Issue focuses on how to strengthen connections between the public digital technology providers and SMEs to enhance economic innovation. We aim to attract manuscripts examining policies and case-studies investigation various regions to support the community in understanding skills and business models necessary for knowledge-intensive and high value-added entrepreneurial activities, by using HPC competencies to enable distant access and utilisation of expensive HPC infrastructure. This will contribute to the technology providers to better understand their own entrepreneurial potential, to identify new business opportunities and to participate in the development and testing of tools for solving real-life problems. In addition, the special issue will contribute to SMEs by gaining appreciation of the role HPC plays in order to increase their visibility and to be better positioned to take advantage of future co-solution generation and co-designing initiatives. As such, it will significantly contribute to the understanding of when and how SMEs can use HPC technology by breaking down the barriers, contributing to the overall ease of access and improve the data and information sharing policies.

Key dates

•    Paper submission deadline: January 31, 2021
•    First round of revisions by March 14, 2021
•    Submission of revised invited submissions by April 11, 2021
•    Second round of revisions by May 1, 2021
•    Submission of the revised final submissions by May 27, 2021
•    Final acceptance notifications by June 18, 2021

Submission details

View the author guidelines on the journal page:
Please submit your manuscript via our review website: 


  • Fuller, A., Fan, Z., Day, C., Barlow, C. (2020) Digital Twin: Enabling Technologies, Challenges and Open Reserch. arXiv:1911.01276.
  • Kindratenko, V., Trancoso, P. et al, 2011. Trends in High-Performance Computing. Computing in Science & Engineering Journal. Vol. 13, No. 3, 92-95. DOI: 10.1109/MCSE.2011.52.
  • Liang, D., et al., 2019 "Fully-Integrated Heterogeneous DML Transmitters For High-Performance Computing," in Journal of Lightwave Technology, doi: 10.1109/JLT.2019.2959048.
  • Ross, P.K., Blumenstein, M. 2015. Cloud computing as a facilitator of SME entrepreneurship. Technology Analysis and Strategic Management Journal. Vol. 27, Iss. 1, 87-101.
  • Strohmaier, E., Dongarra, J.J., Meur, H.W., Simon, H.D. 2005. Recent trends in the marketplace of high performance computing. Journal of Parallel Computing. Vol 31, Iss. 3-4, 261-273.
  • Surendro, K., Fardani, A. 2012. Identification of SME readiness to implement cloud computing. International Conference on Cloud Computing and Social Networking (ICCCSN). IEEE. DOI: 10.1109/ICCCSN.2012.6215757