Finnish consortium ready for pre-exascale hosting entity call


25 Mar 2019 Helsinki - It seemed like a daring undertaking from the Finnish: compete against the European "supercomputer powers", Spain and Italy to bid for a hosting entity for a pre-exascale EuroHPC supercomputer. Sure, you get 120 million euro from the general EuroHPC budget paid by the European Union, but you would need to put 120 million euro of your own money on the table too. The Finnish took that challenge, by trying to put a consortium together of a large number of countries, clearly led by Finland, but not completely dominated by them. They also offered a CSC computing site up north as a suitable cold place to locate the future pre-exascale supercomputer: with a lower energy impact than is possible in the south of Europe. With less than two weeks to go, it seems like the Finnish did indeed succeed in securing enough financial support from other countries to submit a proposal.

In the last few days, two new partners entered the Finnish Consortium: Estonia and Poland, but also one left: the Dutch were not able to commit any funding. Finland itself commits 50 million euro, the other countries between 3 and 15 million euro. Belgium is amongst the largest contribution with 15,5 million euro, Switzerland contributes 10 million euro, Sweden up to 7,1 million euro, Denmark 3 million euro, Poland and the Czech republic each 5 million euro. The other contributions were not yet decided. These are commitments for the complete costs of the system - acquisition and operation. Each country that contributes will a get a share of the access to the system related to the size of their contribution.

If the consortium will be successful, it could, later in the year, allow new partners to join the consortium, however that would not increase the central funding, of course.

With Finland leading a strong international consortium, and also Spain/Portugal and Italy/Slovenia planning to submit a proposal, it seems we have three contenders to host (at least) two pre-exascale supercomputers to be operational by the end of next year.
Ad Emmen