Switzerland became the eleventh signatory of the European declaration on high-performance computing (HPC). Switzerland's broad experience in HPC will further strengthen Europe's efforts to build the next generation of computing and data infrastructures. Indeed "Piz Daint", a Swiss supercomputer, recently became the world’s third most powerful supercomputer.

A map of Europe presenting the eleven signatories of the EuroHPC declaration

Today in Bern, Swiss State Secretary for Education, Research and Innovation Mauro Dell'Ambrogio signed the EuroHPC declaration.  

Vice-President Andrus Ansip, in charge of the Digital Single Market, and Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society, welcomed this new commitment:

We are very pleased that Switzerland – one of our long-time partners in high-performance computing – is joining the European effort to develop supercomputers in Europe. This will enhance Europe’s leadership in science and innovation, help grow the economy and build our industrial competitiveness.

Switzerland will now participate in the common efforts to build the next generation of computing and data infrastructures in Europe. The aim of the EuroHPC initiative is to develop a world-class HPC ecosystem based on European technology and on energy-efficient computing and capable of at least 1018 calculations per second (so-called exascale computers). The objective is to have EU exascale supercomputers in the global top three by 2022.

Thanks to hundreds of thousands of processors, working in parallel to analyse billions of data in real time, supercomputers are the fastest and most powerful computers available. They are capable of solving complex computational problems and bringing concrete outcomes in various fields including personalised medicine, safer transport systems, better weather forecasting, wind plant modelling, smart cities or increased online fraud detection.

A European world-class HPC infrastructure will support a wide range of users: scientific communities, large industry and SMEs, as well as the public sector. Ultimately EuroHPC initiative will boost scientific leadership, industry competitiveness and EU's innovation capacity to meet societal and scientific challenges. 

The EuroHPC declaration was originally launched and signed in Rome in March 2017 during the Digital Day by France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal and Spain. Belgium signed the declaration in June 2017, Slovenia in July 2017 and Bulgaria last week.

Next steps

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. 

A targeted consultation on EuroHPC initiative was launched in August 2017. The summary report of the consultation has been published today. The replies will guide the Commission in defining a new legal and financial instrument to implement the goals of EuroHPC, in line with the Digital Single Market mid-term review.

All other Member States are encouraged to join EuroHPC and work together, and with the European Commission, in this initiative. 

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