European Commission unveils $8bn investment in supercomputing

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The European High Performance Computing Joint Undertaking (EuroHPC JU) is pooling European resources to buy and deploy supercomputers and develop supercomputing technologies and applications.

The European Commission is doubling down on its commitment to supercomputing with a planned €8 billion investment in the development of European supercomputing leadership.

Its aim is to improve quality of life, advance science, boost industrial competitiveness, and ensure Europe’s technological autonomy.

The EuroHPC JU is a legal and funding entity that was created in 2018. It enables the pooling of EU and national resources in high-performance computing (HPC).

The JU is currently supporting two main activities:

Developing a pan-European supercomputing infrastructure: buying and deploying in the EU three pre-exascale supercomputers (capable of at least 1017.

It has been reported that these new machines will benefit European private and public users, working in academia and industry, everywhere in Europe.

The second activity is supporting research and innovation activities: developing a European supercomputing ecosystem, stimulating a technology supply industry.

In September 2020, the European Commission proposed a new regulation to replace the Council Regulation (EU) 2018/1488 establishing the EuroHPC JU.

It sets out a mission and a larger budget of €8 billion, for the period 2021-2033, in order to further develop, deploy, extend and maintain in the EU a supercomputing and data infrastructure, driven by key scientific, industrial and social applications.

It will also be to develop and deploy a quantum computing and quantum simulation infrastructure integrated with the HPC infrastructure.

The entity will also deploy Centres of Excellence in HPC applications and the industrialisation of HPC software, with novel algorithms, codes and tools optimised for future generations of supercomputers, as well as put in place large-scale industrial pilot test-beds and platforms for HPC and data applications and services in key industrial sectors.

The initial budget of the Joint Undertaking was around €1.1 billion for the period 2018-20, with an EU contribution of €536 million from the current MFF (2014-2020).