The EuroHPC Joint Undertaking (JU) is a legal and funding entity which will enable pooling of EU and national resources in High Performance Computing (HPC) with the aim of:
- Developing a pan-European supercomputing infrastructure: buying and deploying in the EU two supercomputers that will be among the top 5 in the world and at least two other that would today rank in the global top 25for Europe's private and public users scientific and industrial users, for use in more than 800 scientific and industrial application fields.
- Supporting research and innovation activities: developing a European supercomputing ecosystem, stimulating a technology supply industry, and making supercomputing resources in many application areas available to a large number of public and private users, including small and medium-sized enterprises.
State of play of High Performance Computing in Europe
Currently, the computing and data needs of European scientists and industry do not match the computation time available in the EU. Moreover, the EU does not have the most powerful machines that some of their applications require.
As a result, 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 European countries to coordinate their supercomputing strategies and investments together with the EU.
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. 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 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:
- Public members:
- the European Union (represented by the Commission),
- Member States and associated countries that have chosen to become members of the Joint Undertaking: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia and Spain.
- Private members: representatives from the two participating private partners, the European Technology Platform for High Performance Computing (ETP4HPC) and the Big Data Value (BDVA) associations, as well as other stakeholders (users, supercomputing centres, and research organisations).
Other countries can join the Joint Undertaking at any moment.
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.
- The Industrial and Scientific Advisory Board (representatives of the private members): will be responsible for elaborating the R&I agenda on technology, applications, and skills development.
The EuroHPC Joint Undertaking will be jointly funded by its public members with a budget of around EUR 1 billion. The EU's financial contribution is EUR 486 million. This budget will be matched by a similar amount from the participating countries. The private members will also provide additional contributions to the value of over EUR 400 million, through participation in the Joint Undertaking’s activities. The Joint Undertaking will provide financial support in the form of procurement or research and innovation grants to participants following open and competitive calls.
The European Declaration on High-Performance Computing was launched in Rome in March 2017 and subsequently signed by European countries committed to upgrading European computing power.
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 has been formally adopted by the Council of the European Union on 28 September 2018.
Located in Luxembourg, the Joint Undertaking will start operating in November 2018 and remain operational until the end of 2026.