29 May 2018 Brussels - The Competitiveness Council (Research, Innovation and Space) consisting of European Union Ministers of European Affairs, Industry, Research and related areas, made good progress on EuroHPC and on the Europen Open Science Cloud, said Krasimir Valchev, Minister of Education and Science of Bulgaria, following the Competitiveness Council meeting on 29 May 2018, in Brussels. EuroHPC JU will be formally established by a EU Council decision later this year.
The Competitiveness Council continued discussing about EuroHPC. Progress was made but a final descision is expected later. Valchev noted that not only is HPC important for science, but also for SMEs. Regional competence centres to support SMEs with HPC will be established later this year.
Apart from what Member States are doing, it is needed to have a European approach, to create a European supercomputer, Valchev said. The Bulgarian presidency is very happy with the progress made towards EuroHPC. About 1 billion euro will be invested in EuroHPC to increase European competitiveness. European supercomputers will provide important data in health, prevention of cyber attacks and many other areas, including new areas of knowledge.
Also the European Open Science Cloud was briefly discussed during the Council meeting.
Mariya Gabriel, European Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society, talked a bit more about the EuroHPC JU and HPC for Europe. She recalled that in January the Commission proposed a legal and financial structure (EuroHPC JU) to ensure that Europe would get back its leading role in HPC, a leading role it has lost. We rely on these large supercomputers to solve in our modern world complex societal and economical issues, she said. It is urgent that we put in place this new instrument to ensure we do not lag behind our competitors, the US and China. They are moving forward very quickly. So Gabriel hopes the Council will move very quickly.
Maryia Gabriel also talked about the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC). A general approach for the EOSC has been adopted by the Council. Here the goal is to create an open research environment, an environment of trust. There is still a lot to be done to make it a reality by 2020. Important aspects are that there will be a pan-European data-infrastructure federation. Membership to the federation is voluntary. There will be an EOSC governance infrastructure that will include the ministers of member states, stakeholders, and researchers. The first European Open Science Cloud portal will be launched in November in Austria during the ICT 2018 event.