Vice-President Ansip, responsible for the Digital Single Market, and Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society welcomed this important step for EuroHPC:
We are pleased to welcome Croatia in this bold European project. By aligning our European and national strategies and pooling resources, we will put Europe in leading global position in HPC and provide access to world-class supercomputing resources for both public and private users, especially for SMEs, who use more and more HPC in their business processes. The scientific and industrial developments will have a direct positive impact on European citizens' daily lives in areas going from biotechnological and biomedical research to personalised medicine, and from renewable energy to urban development.
Blaženka Divjak, Croatian Minister of Science and Education added:
Republic of Croatia recognizes the need for EU integrated world-class high performance computing infrastructure which in combination with EU data and network infrastructures would upraise both Europe’s and Croatian scientific capabilities and industrial competitiveness. Therefore, we are very pleased that Croatia is now part of this ambitious European project. It is widely agreed that scientific progress as well as economic growth will increasingly rely on top level HPC-enabled methods and tools, services and products. Signing this Declaration is a step in the right direction for our country which will help Croatia to further develop our research and industrial potential. Europe needs to combine resources to overcome its fragmentation and the dilution of efforts.
The goal of the EuroHPC agreement is to establish a competitive HPC ecosystem by acquiring and operating leading-edge high-performance computers . The ecosystem will comprise hardware and software components, applications, skills and services. It will be underpinned by a world-class HPC and data infrastructure HPC infrastructure, available across EU, no matter where supercomputers are located. This HPC infrastructure will also support the European Open Science Cloud and will allow millions of researchers to share and analyse data in a trusted environment. Focusing initially on the scientific community, the user base of the cloud will over time be enlarged to a wide range of users: scientific communities, large industry and SMEs, as well as the public sector.
The EuroHPC declaration aims at having EU exascale supercomputers, capable of at least 1018 calculations per second, in the global top three by 2022-2023.
The EuroHPC initiative was launched during the Digital Day in March 2017 and signed by France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal and Spain (see the press statement, speech and blog post by Vice-President Ansip). Five other countries have since joined this bold European initiative: Belgium in June, Slovenia in July, Bulgaria and Switzerland in October and Greece in November.
Why HPC matters
Supercomputers are very powerful systems with hundreds of thousands or millions of processors working in parallel to analyse billions of pieces of data in real time. They do extremely demanding computations for simulating and modelling scientific and engineering problems that cannot be performed using general-purpose computers. Therefore, access to HPC becomes essential in many areas spanning from health, biology and climate change to automotive, aerospace energy and banking.
Moreover, as the problems we want to solve are more and more complex, the demands on computational resources are growing accordingly. In this rhythm, today's state of the art machines are obsolete after 5-7 years of operation.
Aiming at and developing a European HPC ecosystem will benefit both academia and industry. As a wide range of scientific and industrial applications will be made available at EU level, citizens will benefit from an increased level of HPC resources in areas like:
- Health, demographic change and wellbeing
- Secure, clean and efficient energy
- Smart, green and integrated urban planning
- Weather forecasting and climate change
- Food security
More examples in the HPC factsheet.
The European Commission, together with countries which have signed the declaration are preparing, by the end of 2017, a roadmap with implementation milestones to deploy the European exascale supercomputing infrastructure.
All other Member States and countries associated to Horizon 2020 are encouraged to join EuroHPC and work together, and with the European Commission, in this initiative.