Case Study

Nuvolos provides a complete computational science platform at Sciences Po

The Challenge

The Observatoire Français des Conjonctures Economiques (OFCE), part of Paris’ famous grande école Sciences Po, is one of France’s leading institutions in economic research, forecasting, and evaluation of public policy. With the task of providing objective and independent analysis of political decision making based on advanced economic research, the OFCE employs a large team of professional researchers in the field of economic and econometric analysis. Many of the OFCE researchers also train and supervise students in these fields. 

Naturally, the analysis and prediction of economic phenomena in a modern way requires substantial computational power. For example, the building of extensive macroeconomic models like ThreeMe (the Multi-sector Macroeconomic Model for the Evaluation of Environmental and Energy policy), co-created at the OFCE, is work at the cutting edge of applied computational science.

Between the demands of such model building and the large number of researchers working under the umbrella of the institution, OFCE Principal Director Xavier Timbeau needs a complete computational science platform that would enable collaboration across the board, while being easily scalable to obtain the necessary high-end compute resources. Additionally, such a platform must be able to make working with students a painless experience, from setting up courses to sharing data and marking their work. For Prof. Timbeau and his institution, doing all of this manually would impose a substantial amount of administrative overhead and burdens of setup and maintenance, taking away valuable time for research and education.

The Solution

Nuvolos is an integral platform for computational science, made by scientists to free researchers, educators, and data analysts from the everyday challenges of large-scale computation. As a cloud-native framework, Nuvolos is purpose built for collaboration, scalability, and ease of use. Researchers such as Prof. Timbeau can spin up research environments, experiment, and share their data with a few mouse clicks.

Compute resources are never a constraint: scaling is seamless and can be done any time within the platform. Providing for the needs of students is just as straightforward, as easy setup, structuring, sharing, and marking of courses is a core feature of Nuvolos. Moreover, since Nuvolos uses state-of-the-art cloud technology to allow applications to run directly in the browser, all students are guaranteed to have the same safe and familiar learning environment.

The Outcome

For Prof. Timbeau and the OFCE, Nuvolos provides peace of mind: by taking away all the complexity of hardware and cloud computing, collaboration and experimentation become more accessible to researchers with less advanced computer skills, while saving more advanced users lots of time. Setting up courses for students and sharing the necessary data is easy, safe, and reliable, and vast computing resources are available for the OFCE’s model building and other research work whenever needed, thanks to the platform’s seamless scalability. On top of that, Nuvolos’ efficient and dedicated support engineers help make project-specific requirements a painless experience, such as assisting with parallel computing on GPUs or solutions for high-end database needs.

By using Nuvolos as an end-to-end computational science platform, Prof. Timbeau and his team at the OFCE are reclaiming their valuable time for the work that really matters. And not least of all, they save money while they work. As he expresses it: “Nuvolos will help you unleash the power of modern computing with a reasonable cost. This past year, I would estimate that Nuvolos saved me 50 to 100 hours on system administration. Given my high hourly rate, that saves a fortune!”

Key Benefits

  • Massive time savings on system setup administration

  • Guarantees scalability on demand

  • Painless experience integrating needs of education and research