Flemish Minister of Science and Education to explain his view on EuroHPC

15 Feb 2018 Brussels - Philippe Muyters, the Flemish Minister of Science and Education, answered questions about EuroHPC in the Flemish Parliament. According to Muyters the total investments in EuroHPC will be 1.394.000.000 euro (about 1,4 billion euro). This seems higher than the amount announced by the European Commission last month that was talking about 1 billion euro. According to Muyters, the European programmes will invest 486 million euro. The same amount will be invested by the EuroPHC member countries. 422 million euro will be invested by industry (private parties).

The current Flemish top supercomputer, called BrENIAC, has a peak performance of 0,6 Petaflop/s. So an exascale supercomputer, Muyters explained, is about 2000 times faster. But before the real exascale supercomputer, Europe will build several prototype pre-exascale systems with about 20% - 50% of exascale performance.

How much Belgium or Flanders has to invest, has not yet been specified. Each euro that is invested by a member country is matched by European funds, Muyters explained. The more you invest as a country, the bigger the influence you get in the EuroHPC Joint Undertaking decision process. And the more you pay, the bigger the share is of the (pre-)exascale computers that you can use.

In Flanders a steering group has been formed to coordinate the Flemish EuroHPC within Belgium and within EuroHPC. Members of this steering group are the Flemish contact for EuroHPC, the Flemish Supercomputing Centre (VSC) and the Ministry of Muyters. This Steering Group will map the HPC landscape in Flanders with the industry, research organisations and users. This will allow to estimate the potential contribution of Flanders to EuroHPC. Flanders will first look at the pre-exascale systems and then look for the final contribution.

Apart from universities, Flanders has also several more applied research institutes that can benefit from supercomputer simulations: imec, VIB, VITO and Flanders Make. Which application area will be the most important one cannot be determined yet.

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