Andrus Ansip, European Commission Vice-President for the Digital Single Market, warmly welcomed Belgium's participation: "I am pleased that Belgium is now part of this ambitious project. Super computers have countless applications with a direct benefit on people's lives. But EU countries cannot build and maintain this infrastructure on their own. This is why we have to join forces, and I invite more EU countries to get involved".
Alexander De Croo, Belgian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Development Cooperation, Digital Agenda, Telecommunications and Postal Services, said:“Belgium is very happy to join the European Commission and the seven other member states in the High Performance Computing initiative. This project is a unique opportunity to build together a pan European world-class digital infrastructure for the future. Supercomputers will change our economy and our society. Think of the development of new drugs or innovation in the field of renewable energy solutions. It is important that Belgium joins Europe's innovation frontrunners."
The EuroHPC declaration was originally launched and signed in Rome in March 2017 by France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal and Spain (press statement, speech and blog post by Vice-President Ansip).
The objective of the EuroHPC agreement is to support the next generation of computing and data infrastructures, ensuring the availability of an integrated supercomputing infrastructure capable of at least 1018 calculations per second (so-called exascale computers) based on European technology by 2022/2023.
This involves not only acquiring and operating high-performance computers but also building the key technology blocks (low power processor up to systems architecture, software tools and applications) in Europe. This will make available world-class infrastructure and services for scientific communities, industry and the public sector, no matter where the users are located.
It will support the European Open Science Cloud, which will offer Europe's 1.7 million researchers and 70 million science and technology professionals a virtual environment to store, share and re-use their data across disciplines and borders. Focusing initially on the scientific community, the user base of the cloud will over time be enlarged to the public and to businesses.
Member States who have signed the declaration, in coordination with the European Commission, are now preparing an implementation roadmap to deploy the European exascale supercomputing infrastructure by the end of 2017.
All other Member States are invited to sign the EuroHPC declaration and join the European effort to build advanced high-capacity data and computing infrastructure. By ambitiously working together, we place Europe in a leading position in the global digital economy.