The European Commission today welcomed the launch of a €500 million initiative which boosts European supercomputer capacities and opens them up to scientists across Europe. The Partnership for Advanced Computing in Europe (PRACE) unites the European Commission and 20 countries across Europe in a unique initiative which will enable researchers to use super fast computers located in other countries to make up to 1000 trillion calculations per second for their research projects. This could be used for example to speed up the development of more efficient solar cells or help us understand how drugs interact with the human body. Europe's fastest computer, JUGENE in Germany, will be the first machine available to European scientists under the PRACE initiative. By 2015 more supercomputers in Germany, France, Italy and Spain will be available across the EU. The initiative remains open to other countries that can host such supercomputers. The Commission is contributing more than €70 million to PRACE, which strengthens European research and competitiveness, in line with the objectives of the Digital Agenda for Europe, a flagship initiative under the Europe 2020 strategy.