The importance of advanced simulation to the competitiveness of any company is well established. The principal objective of Fortissimo is to enable European manufacturing, particularly SMEs, to benefit from the efficiency and competitive advantage inherent in the use of simulation, as practised successfully by numerous high-tech industries. Simulation often requires enormous computing power and specialised software tools and services. Generally, large companies, which have a greater pool of skills and resources, find access to advanced simulation easier than SMEs which can neither afford expensive HPC equipment nor the licensing cost for the relevant tools. This means that SMEs are not able to take advantage of advanced simulation, even though it can clearly make them more competitive. The goal of Fortissimo is to overcome this impasse through the provision of simulation services running on a cloud infrastructure making use of HPC systems also making appropriate skills and tools available in a distributed, internet-based environment.