EU invests a further €144.5 million in world-class supercomputers for researchers and businesses
Today, the European High-Performance Computing Joint Undertaking, which pools European resources to buy and deploy world-class supercomputers and technologies, co-signed a contract worth €144.5 million to acquire the LUMI supercomputer. Europe is at the forefront of investment in next-generation supercomputing infrastructure that will be accessible to all European researchers, industry and businesses, to run hundreds of new applications in artificial intelligence and personalised medicine, drug and material design, genomics, weather forecasting, combatting climate change and many more. The positive effects that supercomputers have on society can already be seen in various areas, such as in the fight against major diseases, including cancer, the coronavirus and many other viral infections, or in supporting the green transition and the European Green Deal, by assisting in urban and rural planning, waste and water management and control of environmental degradation. For instance, with the EU-funded consortium Exscalate4CoV supercomputers are helping scientists to find an effective treatment for COVID-19 patients. Another example is the EU’s Destination Earth initiative aiming to develop a very high-precision digital model of the Earth, which could improve weather forecasting, water management, and environmental modelling. Executive Vice-President for A Europe Fit for the Digital Age, Margrethe Vestager, said: “Supercomputing ensures innovative solutions to our daily life problems. With the acquisition of the LUMI supercomputer in Finland, we pave the way to improve Europeans’ quality of life, and also boost industrial competitiveness, and advance science. This is essential for our digital future.” The LUMI supercomputer will be located in Finland and hosted by the LUMI Consortium, in which several European countries are participating. Following the announcement of the LEONARDO supercomputer in Italy on 15 October, and three other supercomputers in Czechia, Luxembourg, and Slovenia, this marks the latest addition to the supercomputer family by the European High-Performance Computing Joint Undertaking, since September. The Joint Undertaking plans to acquire further supercomputers in Bulgaria, Spain, and Portugal before the end of 2020. As part of the Digital Decade agenda to strengthen Europe’s digital sovereignty, it has so far invested nearly €327 million in supercomputing systems. The Commission proposal in September, will enable an additional investment of €8 billion in the next generation of supercomputers. More information is available here.