The hosting sites will be located in Sofia (Bulgaria), Ostrava (Czechia), Kajaani (Finland), Bologna (Italy), Bissen (Luxembourg), Minho (Portugal), Maribor (Slovenia), and Barcelona (Spain). They will support the development of major applications in domains such as personalised medicine, drug and material design, bio-engineering, weather forecasting, and climate change. In total, 19 of the 28 countries participating in the Joint Undertaking will be part of the consortia operating the centres. Together with EU funds, it represents a total budget of 840 million euro. The exact funding arrangements for the new supercomputers will be reflected in hosting agreements that will be signed soon.
Vice-President for the Digital Single Market, Andrus Ansip, stated: "These sites will give our researchers access to world-class supercomputers, a strategic resource for the future of European industry. They will be able to process their data inside the EU, not outside it. It is a major step forward for Europe to reach the next level of computing capacity; it will help us to advance in future-oriented technologies like the Internet of Things, artificial intelligence, robotics and data analytics."
Commissioner for the Digital Economy and Society Mariya Gabriel added: "The European High Performance Computing Joint Undertaking is a good example of how EU countries can cooperate to drive innovation and compete globally in these highly strategic technologies. I am convinced that the new supercomputers that these sites will host will boost Europe's competitiveness in the digital area. We have demonstrated the strength of our European approach which will bring concrete benefits to our citizens and help our SMEs."
The Joint Undertaking, along with the selected hosting sites, plans to acquire 8 supercomputers: 3 pre-exascale machines (capable of executing more than 150 Petaflop/s, that will be in the global top 5, and 5 petascale machines (capable of executing at least 4 Petaflop/s).
The pre-exascale systems are expected to provide 4-5 times more computing power than the current top supercomputing systems of the Partnership for Advanced Computing in Europe (PRACE). Together with the petascale systems, they will double the supercomputing resources available for European-level use, meaning that many more users will have access to them.
In the next few months, the Joint Undertaking will sign agreements with the selected hosting entities and their hosting Consortia. These agreements will reflect the way the procurement process for acquiring the machines will work and the respective budget commitments of the Commission and member countries. The supercomputers are expected to become operational during the second half of 2020 for European users from academia, industry and the public sector. All the new supercomputers will be connected to the GÉANT high-speed pan-European network, like the existing supercomputers that are part of PRACE.