The EuroHPC Joint Undertaking (JU) is a legal and funding entity which will enable pooling of the Union's and national resources on High-Performance Computer (HPC) with the aim of:
- acquiring and providing a world-class pre-exascale supercomputing infrastructure to Europe's scientific and industrial users, matching their demanding application requirements by 2020,
- developing exascale supercomputers based on competitive EU technology that the Joint Undertaking could acquire around 2022/2023, and that would be ranking among the top three places in the world.
State of play of High Performance Computing in Europe
Currently, the computing and data needs of European scientists and industry are not matching the computation time available in the EU. Moreover, the EU does not have the most powerful machines that some of their applications require.
Therefore the European HPC users are increasingly processing their data outside the EU. This situation may create problems related to:
- data protection,
- commercial trade secrets,
- ownership of data.
None of the EU supercomputers are currently in the global top 10 and the existing ones depend on non-European technology. This brings an increasing risk for the Union of being deprived of strategic or technological know-how for innovation and competitiveness.
Benefits of the HPC Joint Undertaking
The EuroHPC Joint Undertaking will enable Member States to coordinate together with the Union their supercomputing strategies and investments.
We need to ensure the development in Europe of a whole exascale supercomputing capability covering the whole value chain (from technology components to systems and machines, and to applications and skills) and coordination and pooling. This action will avoid long term negative effects, both on the digital economy but also for Europe's data sovereignty and scientific and industrial leadership.
The EuroHPC Joint Undertaking will develop a clear strategy for innovation procurement of exascale machines based on competitive European technologies. By developing the prospect of creating a lead market for exascale technology in Europe, the EuroHPC JU will help the European suppliers to take the risk to develop such machines on their own.
The EuroHPC Joint Undertaking will be composed of public and private members:
- the European Union (represented by the Commission),
- the Member States and associated countries which have already signed the EuroHPC Declaration,
- the representatives from the supercomputing and big data stakeholders, including academia and industry.
Other countries can join the Joint Undertaking at any moment, provided they contribute financially to its objectives.
The governance structure of the EuroHPC Joint Undertaking will be composed of:
- The Governing Board (representatives of the public members): will be responsible for the Joint Undertaking decision making, including funding decisions related to all the procurements and Research & Innovation (R&I) activities. Voting rights will be proportional to the financial contributions of its members.
- The Industrial and Scientific Advisory Board (representatives of the private members -academia and industry): will be responsible for elaborating the R&I agenda on technology, applications, and skills development.
In June 2018, the Council endorsed the Commission’s proposal to establish the EuroHPC Joint Undertaking. On 3 July 2018, the European Parliament has voted in favour of the Commission’s proposal to create a European High Performance Computing Joint Undertaking. The proposal will be formally adopted by the Council of the European Union in September.
The Joint Undertaking is foreseen to start operating in 2019 and will remain operational until the end of 2026.
Its budget will consist of EUR 486 million from the present budgetary framework of the Union, and more specifically in both Horizon 2020 and Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) programmes. The budget will be matched by a similar amount from the participating countries. The private entities should also provide in-kind contributions. The Joint Undertaking will provide financial support in the form of procurement or research and innovation grants to participants following open and competitive calls.