State of the Union: Commission sets out new ambitious mission to lead on supercomputing

Credit: Unsplash

This article is brought to you in association with the European Commission.


Today, the Commission takes further steps in the Digital Decade agenda to strengthen Europe’s digital sovereignty, as announced by President Ursula von der Leyen in her State of the Union Address on Wednesday.

The Commission has proposed a new Regulation for the European High Performance Computing Joint Undertaking to maintain and advance Europe’s leading role in supercomputing and quantum computing. It will support research and innovation activities for new supercomputing technologies, systems and products, as well as foster the necessary skills to use the infrastructure and form the basis for a world-class ecosystem in Europe. The proposal would enable an investment of €8 billion in the next generation of supercomputers – a substantially larger budget compared to the current one.

Building on Europe’s success in next-generation high-performance computing, supercomputing will play a key role in Europe’s path towards recovery. It has been identified as a strategic investment priority, and will underpin the entire digital strategy, from big data analytics and artificial intelligence to cloud technologies and cybersecurity. In addition, in a Recommendation also adopted today, the Commission calls on Member States to boost ultra-fast network connectivity and develop a joint approach to 5G rollout.    

Executive Vice-President for A Europe Fit for the Digital Age, Margrethe Vestager, said: “High-performance computing is an essential digital capacity for Europe. As we have seen in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic, supercomputers are already assisting in the search of therapies, recognising and forecasting the infection spread, or supporting decision-making on containment measures. Data, in combination with artificial intelligence and supercomputers, are also a major asset in detecting patterns of ecosystems, helping us to mitigate changes in climate, and to work on solutions to avoid disasters and fight climate change. Our proposal today will foster increased investment in supercomputing infrastructure, in view of its enormous potential to improve quality of life, boost industrial competitiveness, and advance science.”

Commissioner for Internal Market, Thierry Breton, added: “Together with data and connectivity, supercomputing is at the forefront of our digital sovereignty, encompassing industrial, technological and scientific challenges. Keeping up in the international technological race is a priority, and Europe has both the know-how and the political will to play a leading role. Our objective is to rapidly reach the next standard of computing with exascale computers – but also and foremost to already integrate quantum accelerators to develop hybrid machines and position Europe very early on this disruptive technology.”

The Regulation aims to update the previous Council Regulation that established the EuroHPC Joint Undertaking in October 2018. It will enable Europe to uphold a leading role in the technological race towards the next supercomputing frontier, notably:

  • exascale supercomputers that will perform more than one billion billion (1018) operations per second;
  • quantum computers and hybrid computers, combining elements of quantum and classical computing, that will be able to perform operations that no supercomputer is currently capable of doing.

The EuroHPC Joint Undertaking will make accessible existing European supercomputing and quantum computing resources to all users across Europe, including the public sector and industrial users, in particular small and medium businesses (SMEs), no matter where they are located. The new budget is currently under negotiation; it will be supported by Horizon Europe, Digital Europe and the Connecting Europe Facility.

Supercomputing in action

This supercomputing infrastructure could be used in more than 800 European scientific, industrial and public sector applications.

In the health sector, including in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic, supercomputers are already assisting in the search for therapies, modelling and forecasting the infection spread, and supporting decision-making on containment measures. In June, the EU-funded consortium Exscalate4CoV announced that an already registered generic drug used to treat osteoporosis, Raloxifene, could be an effective treatment for COVID-19 patients with mildly symptomatic infection. This drug is now ready to enter clinical trials, and the project is continuing to work on other promising molecules. Supercomputers will also help European scientists better understand the human metabolism and immune system, and will lead to substantial progress in areas like genomics, designing and testing of new drugs, and will help to fight major diseases, including cancer and viral infections.  

Furthermore, this supercomputing infrastructure will help achieve the EU’s Destination Earth initiative, bringing about significant improvements in weather forecasting, urban and rural planning, waste and water management and oceanographic, marine and frozen environment modelling. This will support the green transition, in line with the goals of the European Green Deal, and assist in preparing for as well as managing major environmental degradation and disasters.

Next steps

The new regulation for the European High Performance Computing Joint Undertaking (EuroHPC Joint Undertaking) is proposed for adoption by the Council of the European Union. Preparations to continue the Joint Undertaking’s activities from 2021 onwards are already underway: for example, 20 projects have been selected to develop innovative HPC applications and services

Background

The EuroHPC Joint Undertaking was created in 2018 to enable the EU to become a world leader in supercomputing, by pooling the resources of the EU, participating countries (32 to date), and private partners.

Since its creation in 2018, the EuroHPC Joint Undertaking has been able to substantially increase investments in high performance computing at European level, in view of establishing Europe’s position as a global leader in this area. For the period 2019-2020 alone, the Joint Undertaking’s public investments will reach around €1.1 billion, representing a net increase of nearly €250 million per year at European level compared to the situation before 2018.

With this funding, by early 2021 the EuroHPC Joint Undertaking will deploy three pre-exascale systems (capable of at least 1017 calculations per second) that would rank in the world’s top five supercomputers, and five petascale systems (capable of at least 1015 calculations per second), in the top 50. These new machines will multiply by eight the supercomputing power available at European level. They will widen the use of high performance computing in the EU for both public and private users, and in particular for SMEs that do not have the in-house resources to profit from these new technologies.

The EuroHPC Joint Undertaking is also supporting the creation of 33 national competence centres that will act locally to ease access to European supercomputing opportunities in different industrial sectors, deliver tailored solutions for a wide variety of users, including SMEs) and ultimately strengthen European knowledge and expertise in these technologies.

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

This is how a smart factory actually works

4 bold new ways New York is going clean and green

Why businesses are nothing without strong human rights

These are India’s cleanest cities

70 years on, landmark UN human rights document as important as ever

Greece: Tsipras’ referendum victory does not solve the financial stalemate of the country and its banks

Trump’s Syrian hit the softest option vis-a-vis Russia

The race for Driverless vehicles: where is the industry heading?

Syria: Civilians bear brunt of unilateral sanctions, exacerbating ‘unparalleled suffering, destruction,’ says UN expert

Working when sick is rising and harms you and your employer. This is why

Methane levels are increasing – and scientists aren’t sure why

2019 EU Budget: Commission proposes a budget focused on continuity and delivery – for growth, solidarity, security

These are the cities where people work the longest hours

How next-generation information technologies tackled COVID-19 in China

Commission assesses and sets out reform priorities for the countries aiming to join the EU

Statement of the UK Coordination Group and the leaders of the political groups of the EP

Recovering from COVID-19: these are the risks to anticipate now – before it’s too late

EP Brexit Steering Group calls on the UK to overcome the deadlock

UN, African Union make significant joint commitment to global health

EU Trust Fund for Africa: Can it be beneficial for Italy and tackle the migration crisis in the Mediterranean?

Four things the UN chief wants world leaders to know, at key COP24 climate conference opening

In Pakistan, Guterres urges world to step up climate action, praises support to Afghan refugees

Three ways to improve your corporate culture in the #MeToo era

Why do medical students seek for work abroad?

Why youth unemployment is so difficult to counter

Foreign Investment Screening: new European framework to enter into force in April 2019

Attack on Saudi facilities risks dragging Yemen into ‘regional conflagration’: UN Envoy

UN chief calls for Security Council to work with Myanmar to end ‘horrendous suffering’ of Rohingya refugees

UN makes ‘declaration of digital interdependence’, with release of tech report

Western Sahara: a ‘peaceful solution’ to conflict is possible, says UN envoy

The European Union’s Balkan Double Standard

“Let hope be the antidote to fear” – Today’s WHO briefing and other key Coronavirus updates, tips and tools

Humanitarian Aid: €10.5 million for South and South East Asia

How fixing broken food systems can help us meet all the SDGs

5 Ways Companies Can Progress More Women into Leadership Roles

New Report Offers Global Outlook on Efforts to Beat Plastic Pollution

Coronavirus: the truth against all myths

‘Historic’ moment: Palestine takes reins of UN coalition of developing countries

Four things Turkey did for business in the G20

UN space-based tool opens new horizons to track land-use on Earth’s surface

Address by the President Antonio Tajani at the funeral of Nicole Fontaine

When is necessary understand the cultural marks in health-disease process

UN chief commends African Union on adoption of institutional reforms

There is no recipe for a healthy mental state

Is Eurozone heading towards a long stagnation?

Here are three ways Africa’s youth are defeating corruption

How we overhauled healthcare amid Venezuela’s crisis

South Korea wants to build three hydrogen-powered cities by 2022

UN rushes to deliver aid as key Yemeni port city is ‘shelled and bombarded’

How India’s globalized cities will change its future

Industrial producer prices on free fall and stagnant output

Across Europe, people are struggling to make ends meet. We need a common response immediately.

Coronavirus: urgent response to support citizens, regions and countries

Africa-Europe Alliance: first projects kicked off just three months after launch

Millennials aren’t voting – but these young leaders have a plan to change that

Remittances could fall by $100 billion because of COVID-19 – here’s why that matters

Although Greece is struggling to pay salaries and pensions Varoufakis is “optimistic”; the Sting reports live from EBS 2015

European Semester Winter Package: assessing Member States’ progress on economic and social priorities

Beyond trust: Why we need a paradigm shift in data-sharing

UN condemns deadly attack against G5 Sahel force headquarters in Mali

More Stings?

Advertising

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s