Mariya Gabriel, European Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society said:
I am very pleased to welcome Bulgaria in this bold European initiative. High-performance computing is pervasive in our daily lives: from personalised medicine to weather forecast, cybersecurity and to cars and planes simulation and design. Access to HPC resources is essential for public and private users. As no Member State has the capacity to develop such computing power quickly and on their own, strong cooperation and support at European level is a must.
Krasimir Valchev, Minister of Education and Science, added:
According to the Bulgarian National Strategy for Research Development 2017-2030, Bulgaria should in a short term modernize its research system to ensure that the needs of the Bulgarian scientific community, the Bulgarian industry and the Bulgarian citizens are met. By signing this Declaration, Bulgaria joins the club of the Member States engaged in digitizing Europe with the help of high-performance computing power. This is a step in the right direction for our country, which will help us to further develop our research, innovation and industrial potential.
The EuroHPC declaration was launched and signed by seven Member States in Rome in March 2017 (see the press statement, speech and blog post by Vice-President Ansip). Two other countries signed it in June and July 2017. The objective of this declaration is the establishment of a joint cooperation framework between the signatories countries to acquire and deploy an integrated supercomputing infrastructure capable of at least 1018 calculations per second (so-called exascale computers). The countries have agreed to work together to develop a world-class HPC ecosystem based on European technology and relying on energy-efficient computing via low-power chips. The aim is to have EU exascale supercomputers in the global top three by 2022.
Top class HPC infrastructure and services will then be available to support a wide range of users: scientific communities, large industry and SMEs, as well as the public sector. The HPC initiative will also support the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC) and will allow millions of our researchers to share and analyse data in a trusted environment across technologies, disciplines and borders. Ultimately, such European world-class HPC infrastructure will boost scientific leadership, industry competitiveness and EU's innovation capacity to meet societal and scientific challenges.
The European Commission, together with countries who have signed the declaration are preparing, by the end of 2017, a roadmap with implementation milestones to deploy the European exascale supercomputing infrastructure.
Switzerland is expected to be the next country to join the European effort on 20 October 2017. All other Member States are encouraged to join EuroHPC and work together, and with the European Commission, in this initiative.