European Commission proposes to invest 1 billion euro in world-class European supercomputers

Carlos Moedas and Mariya Gabriel at the EuroHPC JU press conference (photo: EC.)11 Jan 2018 Brussels - The European Commission unveiled today its plans to invest jointly with the Member States in building a world-class European supercomputers infrastructure, confirming its commitment to EuroHPC. Today's step is crucial for the European Union's competitiveness and independence in the data economy, says the Commission. Today, European scientists and industry increasingly process their data outside the EU because their needs are not matched by the computation time or computer performance available in the EU. This lack of independence threatens privacy, data protection, commercial trade secrets, and ownership of data in particular for sensitive applications.

A new legal and funding structure - the EuroHPC Joint Undertaking - shall acquire, build and deploy across Europe a world-class High-Performance Computing (HPC) infrastructure. It will also support a research and innovation programme to develop the technologies and machines (hardware) as well as the applications (software) that would run on these supercomputers.

The EU's contribution in EuroHPC will be around 486 million euro under the current Multiannual Financial Framework, matched by a similar amount from Member States and associated countries. Overall, around 1 billion euro of public funding would be invested by 2020, and private members of the initiative would also add in kind contributions.

Andrus Ansip, European Commission Vice-President for the Digital Single Market, said: "Supercomputers are the engine to power the digital economy. It is a tough race and today the EU is lagging behind: we do not have any supercomputers in the world's top-ten. With the EuroHPC initiative we want to give European researchers and companies world-leading supercomputer capacity by 2020 - to develop technologies such as artificial intelligence and build the future's everyday applications in areas like health, security or engineering."

Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society added: "Supercomputers are already at the core of major advancements and innovations in many areas directly affecting the daily lives of European citizens. They can help us to develop personalised medicine, save energy and fight against climate change more efficiently. A better European supercomputing infrastructure holds great potential for job creation and is a key factor for the digitisation of industry and increasing the competitiveness of the European economy."

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