Today the Governing Board of the EuroHPC Joint Undertaking (Euro HPC JU) meets for the first time, in the presence of Mariya Gabriel, European Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society. The Governing Board brings together representatives of the European Commission and the 25 participating European countries, who have undertaken to pool EU and national resources in order to develop top-of-the-range exascale supercomputers in Europe.
Commissioner Gabriel said:
Initially proposed by the Commission in January this year, the EuroHPC Joint Undertaking becomes a reality a mere ten months later. In record time, the EU and its Member States have joined forces and put in place a powerful mechanism to allow Europe to regain leadership and become one of the top three supercomputing powers in the world. Supercomputing is a powerful driver in the new global digital economy, a key technology at the heart of many scientific discoveries and industrial innovations that can answer fundamental scientific questions, help our industry innovate and improve our daily lives by bringing tangible benefits to the citizens.
The meeting is an opportunity to agree on the Joint Undertaking’s rules of functioning and on its targets and implementation agenda for 2019, including the investments in infrastructure and research and innovation activities that will help develop a supercomputing ecosystem in the EU. In early 2019, the first investment decisions will be taken about procuring petascale (capable of a million billion or 1015 calculations per second) and pre-exascale (capable of a hundred million billion or 1017 calculations per second) supercomputers. These machines will be procured in the next two years and located in Member States that are participating in the Joint Undertaking.
The new website of the EuroHPC Joint Undertaking is also now live - you can access it here.
The Euro HPC JU is a legal and funding entity which will enable the pooling of EU and national resources in High-Performance Computing (HPC, also known as supercomputing) with the aim of:
- acquiring and providing a world-class pre-exascale supercomputing infrastructure for Europe's scientific, industrial and public users, matching their demanding application requirements, by 2020;
- supporting the development of a European innovation ecosystem in supercomputing technologies, applications and skills.
The Regulation establishing the JU was approved in September 2018, and it will be operational until the end of 2026. Its budget consists of EUR 486 million from the EU’s current budgetary framework, more specifically from the Horizon 2020 and Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) programmes, matched by a similar amount from participating countries. Private entities are also due to provide in-kind contributions to the value of over EUR 400 million. The JU will provide financial support in the form of procurement and research and innovation grants to participants, following open and competitive calls.
The European Commission’s proposed Digital Europe programme for 2021-27 includes EUR 2.7 billion of funding for supercomputing.