They agreed to work together and with the European Commission to acquire and operate across the EU an integrated world-class high performance computing (HPC) and data infrastructure for public and private users, no matter where supercomputers are located. The goal is to jointly procure and deploy exascale supercomputers based on European technology in the global top 3 by 2022.
HPC is at the core of major advances and innovations in the digital age, and it is a key technology for science, industry, and society at large. Access to HPC is a vital and strategic resource for the future of EU's scientific leadership and industrial competitiveness.
In order to inform all Member States about the importance of HPC for the digital economy and the progress made since the EuroHPC declaration in Rome, they have been invited to the first EuroHPC meeting, on 5 October in Brussels .
During this meeting, the signatory MS of the EuroHPC declaration provided testimonials of their interest and role in the EuroHPC initiative. This served to illustrate to all the other MS the incentives to collaborate at European level.
All MS had the opportunity to ask questions and provide their views. There was general support to the initiative. All highlighted the importance of HPC for their scientific competitiveness and the user industry and the need to have easy access to the most performing computers in the world.
In addition, all MS recognised that EuroHPC can only be successful if implemented at European level, as no MS can develop, build and maintain an exascale computing infrastructure by its own. They agreed that it is the right instrument to share the big investment costs of procuring exascale supercomputers based on competitive European technology and to develop further the European HPC ecosystem, comprising hardware and software components, applications, and skills.
A few more MS have announced their intention to sign the EuroHPC declaration and join the initiative in the next weeks. Some others explained that their decision will come after reflections at national level. And a few others stated that they need to further reflect how well is EuroHPC connected to their national priorities and smart specialisation strategies in order to better assess potential benefits before they can take the next steps.
A recurrent question was about the instrument that the Commission will propose to implement EuroHPC, its governance structure, but also where to find the required budget. These questions will be further elaborated in a next meeting that will take place in the following weeks. The results will be integrated in the Commission proposal for a Council regulation defining the EuroHPC instrument that we intend to propose before end 2017.