20 Mar 2017 Brussels - In preparation of the big announcement of Europe's exascale supercomputing plans later this week in Rome, two Director Generals of the European Commission, Roberto Viola, Director-General, DG Communications Networks, Content and Technologies and Robert-Jan Smits, Director-General, DG Research and Innovation, authored a blog on why supercomputers and HPC matter for everyday life. The ability to understand through supercomputing the complexity of a huge amount of information, coming from many sources could provide a response to some of the answered challenges of our society, Viola and Smits write. HPC allows us to design and simulate the effects of new drugs, provide faster diagnosis and better treatments, control epidemics and support decision-making in many areas like electricity or water distribution or urban planning. The applications in technology and engineering are countless, from more energy-efficient buildings to better and safer cars and planes.
They give some more concrete examples in several areas, including: a more competitive industry; direct benefits to our health; better forecasting; making possible more scientific advances; and more reliable decision-making.
Viola and Smits recall that last year, the European Commission set up a Public-Private Partnership with the European Technology Platform on HPC to develop HPC technologies and applications. The EU committed 700 million euro from the Horizon 2020 programme, with the private sector providing matching funds. The first investments have so far resulted in the establishment of 8 Centres of Excellence in HPC applications. We are also investing in quantum technologies that might become soon the new frontier for supercomputers. The first results are very encouraging.